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Training & Education

The British horseracing industry has built up an extensive portfolio of training options to support new entrants, further develop the skills of those already working in Racing and assist those planning to make career changes. Racing’s employers rely on the recruitment and retention of a skilled workforce, and training and education are central to this, as are the safety, wellbeing and development of its people.

For the Thoroughbred breeding industry, the National Stud runs an annual programme of training courses to prepare people for careers in this sector and support those already working on studs. This programme is complemented by the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association (TBA) with their Education and Employment Scheme. The HBLB supports these activities with annual grants.

Click here to visit the British Horseracing Authority's Careers in Racing web page.

Training for Racing
In 2020, HBLB has awarded £2,799,000 to support central training activities that include:

  • Stable staff training and recruitment The two industry training providers, the British Racing School (BRS) in Newmarket and the Northern Racing College (NRC) in Doncaster, offer Intermediate and Advanced Apprenticeship Programmes. These comprise a residential course for up to 12 weeks followed by a placement and employment in a racing yard, where the learner goes on to achieve a nationally recognised qualification in Racehorse Care.
  • Contribution to recruitment With input from the BHA, BRS, NRC, National Stud and TBA, a combined careers marketing and recruitment strategy provides in depth careers information and advice to prospective stable and stud staff workers.
  • Functional Skills To achieve the Intermediate and Advanced Apprenticeships, learners must reach required levels of numeracy and literacy. Setting the instruction in the context of horseracing helps the leaners reach their maximum potential.
  • Life Skills Programme Learners on the Apprenticeship programmes are taught the life skills that will better prepare them for work in the racing industry. For many young people, this is the first time they have lived away from home, so learning how to cook, look after their money, adopt a healthy lifestyle and maintain their fitness will start them off on the right foot.
  • Pony Racing provides a grass roots introduction to race riding, reinforcing the principles of good riding skills and habits. In 2020, HBLB will fund: the attendance by qualified coaches at all the 44 races in the Racecourse Series; 15 Training Days catering for all standards; and 4 Pony Club Taster Days aimed at all kinds of children for instance those coming from urban areas, City Farms and from challenging backgrounds. These days are an introduction to Pony Racing in a fun, hands on, but structured environment. 
  • Racing to School Education Programme is a free education programme delivering a range of activities at racecourses, studs and trainers’ yards which bring National Curriculum subjects to life, enhancing young people’s learning. Click here to visit the Racing to School website.

Stud Staff Training

The National Stud in Newmarket provides many free specialist training courses targeted at applicants looking to launch their careers or improve their knowledge of the Thoroughbred breeding industry. Click here to visit The National Stud website.

Stud staff training courses have been held at The National Stud for more than 30 years. The industry approved courses are supported by the HBLB via a grant of £202,000. This generous support helps sustain the full time training and ensure that courses are fully funded for all EU and UK candidates:-

The Diploma in Stud Practice and Management – Runs over the breeding season and is a unique opportunity for young people (minimum 18 years of age) with prior equine experience to transfer to the Thoroughbred stud industry. The course also provides a range of career development opportunities for those already working in the industry and is highly regarded by industry employers around the world.

The Apprenticeship Scheme – provides access for 16-24 year olds with little prior experience of horses to an initial stud work role. An intense nine weeks at The National Stud prepares trainees for a minimum year’s paid employment in the stud industry.

In addition to the full time courses, the Stud’s training department offers a number of short courses for the industry in partnership with the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association.

Click here to visit the National Stud website for full details on the full time training and the short courses.

The TBA Education and Employment Scheme
To ensure optimum health and welfare of breeding stock, and to encourage and sustain the professional development of breeders and employees, the TBA supports a range of initiatives under the banner of Education and Employment.The focus  is on the following objectives:

Careers promotion on behalf of the breeding industry
• Increasing and improving knowledge of employer needs and target audiences to recruit from.
• Improving the profile of the Thoroughbred breeding industry as an employer and career choice, and increasing the accessibility of career opportunities in the industry to young people from colleges, youth organisations and schools.

Education and training
• Providing educational opportunities for industry participants through seminars and courses organised by the TBA and in conjunction with the National Stud.
• Providing accessible learning opportunities to breeders and their employees.
• Creating a more structured approach to educational opportunities for the breeding industry.

Collaboration with the racing industry
• Working with racing to support collaborative initiatives on Vocational Training and Careers Marketing strategies.

Employer support
• Providing information, advice and guidance on Employment law, pensions and Health and Safety matters.
• Supporting employers in ensuring the wellbeing of their employees. 

The grant to the TBA for the Education and Employment Scheme in 2020 is £80,000. 

Last Updated: 25 February 2020