The provision of education and training for our members and their employees is embedded within the TBA’s charitable objectives, as it is crucial to the welfare of the horses in our care and the continued success of the British breeding industry.

During the past nine years the TBA has successfully accessed funding directly from the Horserace Betting Levy Board on an annual basis to support our education and employment activity, which has resulted in a raft of member benefits. The industry as a whole is indebted to the Levy Board for consistently investing in recruitment, training and education for racing and breeding participants over many years, with grants being made to a number of different industry organisations.

The industry as a whole is indebted to the Levy Board for consistently investing in recruitment, training and education

Early this year, the HBLB signalled a change in approach, requesting that in future a single unified submission for such funding should be made on behalf of British racing and breeding by the BHA. In consultation with all industry stakeholders including the TBA, the BHA produced a Strategy for Industry Recruitment, Training and Education, which was used to underpin the 2014 funding submission, and resulted in a welcome increased grant of £1.2 million for 2014.

The HBLB has gone a step further by indicating future support for a three-year rolling funding application, with the added potential for an increase in financial support. This is good news for racing and breeding, and provides some stability for planning. This support for a unified and professional approach to employment and career development will stand the TBA in good stead in our dealings with government.

Our industry has the potential to offer fulfilling and diverse career opportunities which are not widely publicised, and our participation in the new BHA Strategy will help us to compete successfully with other comparable industries. Recruitment, training, education and employment are all topics of the moment, and we should not forget that thoroughbred breeding provides vital employment in the rural sector as endorsed by the initial findings of the PWC Economic Impact Study of the British Breeding Industry.

The TBA has successfully applied for additional funds to continue our education and employment activity, and we look forward to working with the BHA on relevant projects. We are ahead of the game in many areas already, being active at grassroots level and on recruitment and careers through our links with young people in colleges, Pony Clubs and the Next Generation Club (NGC).

We are lucky to have a committed group of employers representing the interests of members, whose hands-on employment and training experience ensures that what we do remains current and relevant. We are ready to conduct further workforce and training needs analyses to ensure that our members’ requirements are met, and we intend to promote government-funded apprenticeships – championed by Skills Minister Matthew Hancock MP – to employers whilst also working on a formal recognition of new and existing industry courses. Equally importantly, we will continue to educate our members on advances in veterinary medicine, and other aspects of stud management.

Recent news that the TBA’s Next Generation Committee has been awarded a BHA grant to co-fund a two-day careers course in 2014, aimed at introducing young people to the breeding industry and raising awareness of career opportunities, further demonstrates the TBA’s pro-active stance. The NGC is uniquely placed to provide relevant, credible information, advice and guidance and has access to a wide range of industry professionals to deliver this.

There is much to keep us busy in 2014, and as the programme of work rolls out next year we will keep members informed.