YOUNG people and the opportunities that the world of agriculture has to offer them is the focus of a new online jobs website launched this week by the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland.

Jobfarm Scotland aim to raise awareness of work, careers and educational opportunities for young people within agriculture, food and associated rural industries, and introduce young people aged 16 upwards to a host of farms and employers who offer short-term work experience roles in agriculture, food production and related industries.

Opportunities already listed on the site include work on arable and stock farms, as tractor mechanics, gamekeeping, in farm shops, cafes and butcheries, as well as many other opportunities including agri tourism.

As part of the Presidential Initiative, which this year comes under the auspices of the Lothians, the RHASS is working with schools to give those that perhaps lack formal qualifications the chance to build up experience and add things to their CV.

This years' RHASS president, Sir Crispin Agnew, explained: "Jobfarm Scotland is aimed at young people aged 16 plus. We want to offer them work and education opportunities in the wider agricultural industries.

“It is vital that agricultural, food and related rural industries are seen as attractive modern work and career opportunities for young Scots.

"In this Year of Young People, RHASS is launching Jobfarm Scotland to raise awareness of these opportunities in the agricultural, food and rural industries. Jobfarm will provide details of work experience opportunities that are available and exclusive to Jobfarm. At present they are only for the Lothians but the intention is to extend it nationally, and we're hoping the RHASS will help with that.”

The initiative is also working with schools in the Lothians to bring young people that are interested in agriculture to the Royal Highland Show, to give them a physical taste of what the industry has to offer.

Another aim is to enable those without direct links to the industry to get a first foot on the ladder, and hopefully progress from there.

Those offering the work experience opportunities currently available in the Lothians are offering jobs for a week or two, on an unpaid basis, but with potential for further job opportunities.

RHASS vice president, and head of rural agency for Savills, Charlie Dudgeon, said: “A few generations ago everyone would have had a personal connection with agriculture, but with an increasingly urban population this connection has been lost. Jobfarm aims to raise awareness of the brilliant jobs and careers that are available in farming, food and the rural industries.”

Latest DEFRA findings reveal that the average age of a UK farmer has risen to 60, with succession planning topping the list of challenges facing family-run farms. Jobfarm aims to reverse this trend and make Scottish farming and rural industries a more visible career option.

Jobfarm Scotland will also be at the Highland Show, with a stand on Avenue 7, where young people can visit and speak to careers advisors and people involved in the industry.

You can visit Jobfarm’s website at