Company: RuRALink

Summary: A new employment and training model tailor-made to grow your rural business.

Change is happening fast in the rural economy and we need to attract and retain the right people to continue to grow. This includes young people just starting out, experienced professionals looking to retrain, perhaps via a degree apprenticeship, and others bringing their technical or other professional experience from another sector. RuRALink is a specialist consultancy delivering bespoke employment and training solutions in the rural economy and land-based sector.

The Vision

An upskilled, innovative, productive rural workforce at the heart of the post-Brexit national economy.

The Service

RuRALink works with employers, education providers and other stakeholders to create apprenticeship and other educational and training opportunities in rural and remote locations. This will include: creating innovative funding solutions; leveraging technology to deliver blended learning to remote locations and to create virtual peer support communities; and supporting employers to ensure they obtain the maximum business benefit from the apprentice.

For example, RuRALink believes that the modern apprenticeship has the potential to be an invaluable mechanism to upskill across the economy but rural businesses who would like to employ an apprentice cite barriers including: a seemingly complicated set-up process, a lack of local provision and scepticism about their value. RuRALink can help!

Main challenge of being an entrepreneur

Juggling the completion of a master’s degree, being Chief Executive Officer of NFSCo CIC and running the business presents its challenges but Fiona is loving the diversity of work and the opportunity to meet and collaborate with exciting people.

On working with Farm491

Fiona is currently a Student Member of Farm491 and will be looking at Resident Membership in the future. She says; “For me, joining Farm491 was an easy decision! It’s an exciting, emerging and dynamic environment to be a part of, offering exceptional networking, mentoring and learning opportunity. I love the collaborative, supportive community.”

For more information on RuRALink, please visit; https://ruralink.org.uk/

MEET THE FOUNDERS: Fiona Galbraith

Raised on an English vineyard in Kent, Fiona has always loved the physicality of the great outdoors. Now, after twenty-three years of active service in the Army, she is excited to have come back to the ‘green, green grass’ of home. Fiona founded RuRALink to improve career pathways as her contribution to improving rural productivity.