Training Opportunities



Please contact Julia Stephenson and Charlotte Fletcher on 01833 641010 or email and for more information.

(Please remember we are closed on Wednesdays)


Vehicle Training to Improve Employability (Application form to be returned by  29.9.17 downloadable from link below or from UTASS)

We’ve just heard and are delighted to announce, funding from the Wellesley Trust Fund at The Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland is confirmed for another year of young people’s driver training.  Evaluation forms with feedback from applicants who have accessed this opportunity have evidenced how brilliant it has been, providing for car & trailer lessons, car driving lessons, quad bike or pre-test tractor training and Lantra 13-15 tractor driving.  We are so grateful that this funding can continue and some of the lovely comments received include:

I can’t find any room for improvement. I wasn’t very confident but now do feel confident, thanks to the high level of knowledge I have gained from the tutor (named).  A brilliant course and service.”

“He (the trainer) told me what to expect in the test. I will be able to go on the road in the tractor now I have passed my test which is useful for working on other land.  The training met my needs as I passed the test.”

“Thank you very much for organising the tractor driving course. I have learned lots and have been doing small jobs on the tractor.  I am waiting for the weather to improve so I can do some bigger jobs shifting bales.” 

APPLICATION FORMS NEED TO BE RETURNED TO UTASS by FRIDAY, 29th SEPTEMBER – these are available from the UTASS Office or can be downloaded by clicking on this link: 


Applicants for this opportunity are asked to demonstrate why they feel this training would be useful to them and to indicate how it would improve their career prospects or enable them to access training and employment opportunities outside their immediate area.

Driver training for young people includes:-

  • Car driving lessons to the value of £230 including VAT
  • B+E trailer lessons to the value of £360 including VAT
  • Accredited quad bike training (2 trainees/day)
  • Lantra 13-15 Tractor driving (2 trainees/day)
  • Pre Tractor Test briefing session


North East Fresh Start Academy – applications invited before 10th October, 2017 for this exciting programme.  Please see links for further details:

North East Agricultural Business Academy 2017 application form

North East Agricultural Business Academy Flyer Digital


NPTC Safe Use of Sheep Dip:

If you need this qualification please get in touch regarding provisional date for Thursday 21.9.17.

Help with using Excel:

Extract from recent Briefing …”Agreement holders with either the Mixed Stocking (EK5) or Cattle Grazing on Upland Grassland and Moorland (UL18) are required to keep a record of all livestock grazing each field in this option. UTASS has developed Excel spreadsheets for keeping management records and calculating the percentages of sheep and cattle to demonstrate compliance with these options. These are designed for hill livestock on an individual field basis. If you have a computer and would like to try them please contact either Tessa or Richard.”

Should additional help be needed with becoming more competent with Excel, please contact us as we can try to arrange appropriate training whether at a basic (as required above) or more advanced level, which would utilise specially designed spreadsheets for calculating VAT.  We would hope this could start in late November.

Funding for Weardale Rural Skills Training  (Application form with eligibility details downloadable from link below or from the Office)

Dry Stone Walling Training is coming up in Weardale with Lantra Trainer in October, again with part funding available to eligible farming trainees. 

So far 12 farming trainees have been part funded by Weardale Action Partnership towards their NPTC Safe Use of Pesticides training & assessment, with more held last month; 2 for the Semex DIY Artificial Insemination for Cattle training; 4 for British Wool Marketing Board Sheep Shearing training; 7 for Lantra Chainsaw training and 4 have had funding for trailer lessons. Training for 6 trainees to do the NPTC City & Guilds Level 2 Award in Land-based Forklift Truck Operations (Rough Terrain, Masted and Telescopic Types) was held last year and earlier this year.  After more Emergency First Aid Training, 8 trainees are now qualified. We have a few names for Chainsaw, Spraying and Telehandler training.

This part funding from Weardale Action Partnership, over two years, has been made available to farmers living or working in Weardale towards the cost of a wide range of rural skills, with a First Aid course being free of charge. Mostly accredited, training on offer includes Artificial Insemination for Cattle, Emergency First Aid at Work (outdoor related); British Wool Marketing Board shearing training, Car + Trailer driving lessons; NPTC Safe Use of Pesticides;  Forklift Truck Operations (Rough Terrain, Masted and Telescopic Types), Lantra Awards Technical Award in Chainsaw Maintenance & Cross-Cutting, as well as Drystone Walling.

The link to download an application form appears below, which also gives details of part funded participants’ costs:



BWMB 2 Day Shearing Course – Monday 3rd + Tues 4 July – Hill House, Woodland, Bishop Auckland. DL13 5RY

This year’s Shearing Course was at Hill House, Woodland by kind permission of Fay and John Hutchinson and the postponed date of 3.7.17 eventually dried up sufficiently to get shearing underway. Part funding will be available to eligible trainees from Weardale Action Partnership reducing the cost for two days by 50% and from John Warren ABP will also be funding remaining trainees.

One trainee said “I have learnt lots about how to place my feet when clipping and I have learnt the proper method while improving my speed and use of the comb. I will clip some of my sheep at home and maybe some more for other people this year. Many thanks to Julia for organizing the course and the Hutchison family for holding the event and Richard and Bill for running the event.”

For the shearing, we just need to add thanks too, to Weardale Action Partnership for funding eligible trainees as part of Weardale Rural Skills Programme and to Warrens Group Limited too, with the great news that they’d be happy to help with funding again next year.  The Hutchinsons have also offered to host the training again next year, so we hope we will get more enthusiastic trainees. Please see link for further details on what is involved with the training from British Wool’s website:

UTASS had a fantastic day at North Sheep held at Tow Law on Wednesday, 7th June, with a number of staff and Trustees enjoying the opportunity to meet people and enjoy the event.  We were most grateful to have been given the opportunity of a free stand by the National Sheep Association.

Grateful thanks too, for the team effort to make driver training possible – this time involving tractors & trailers kindly loaned by Watsons of Strand Foot; Karl, Loraine & Michael Robinson and Peter & Barbara Needham & Stuart Richardson and to Jamie & Rosie Finch for hosting and providing equipment too.  The venue for most Lantra training has been provided by kind permission of Middleton in Teesdale Farmers’ Mart, with voluntary help from H & H Staff, community & UTASS Members which is much appreciated.  Thanks too to all the trainers involved with helping young people achieve their goals.

The Rodenticide Stewardship Regime explained


Please call the UTASS Office to request a copy of the AHDB publication “Rodent Control on Farms” on 01833 641010.  An online learning tool, linking in with a Lantra qualification can be accessed on

NPTC Level 2 Award in the Transport of Animals by Road (Short Journeys)  – Cattle & Sheep are classed as one species.

If individuals want this qualification, please contact UTASS for signposting – we have had a few queries lately. Although no training is required, those interested will receive information to prepare beforehand (please see the link at the end of this section).  Qualification handbook 600/0306/6 states ”This qualification is aimed specifically at people transporting animals over 65Km and up to eight hours in duration, where the journey is in connection with an economic activity”.  COC Transport Animals by Road Schedule

The above qualification ties in with requirements for a business to apply for an Animal Transporter Authorisation for the above journeys – please see the link to the Guidance Notes & Application form at the bottom (or contact us if you require a print out of any information mentioned in this section).

Spray Training – held in May 2017

Last month another 10 trainees in total attended this training over three days for the NPTC Safe Use of Pesticides (PA route) at UTASS and Middleton Mart, with assessments the following week. Our thanks go to Middleton Mart for the use of their facilities as a venue, alongside UTASS.   Additional information regarding the Safe Use of Pesticides, Safe Use of Sheep Dip and other qualifications can be found at the bottom of this page.  There is the possibility of more training later in the year.

For additional information regarding Use of Pesticides (Grandfather) PAGR 601/1338/1 see link below:

For additional information regarding NPTC Level 2 Award in the Safe Use of Pesticides, see link below:

For additional information regarding Level 2 Award in the Safe Use of Sheep Dips Assessment Schedule & HSE advice: