Rural trainees prepare for extreme conditions

January 31, 2014

This week our Dales Rural Trainees completed a special training and team-building event, specifically designed to help prepare them for some of the extreme outdoor situations that they may face when working in the Yorkshire Dales landscape.  I tagged along to see how they got on…

Through their hand-on apprenticeships with employers across the Yorkshire Dales, the trainees often spend much of their time working in remote locations and extreme conditions.

To help them cope with this unforgiving environment we commissioned a bespoke ‘Mountain Rescue Scenario’ training event to teach the 18-24 year olds some important skills including map reading and navigation, competent use of specialist outdoor equipment and basic first aid training, as well as team working, leadership, delegation and communication skills.

The Dales Rural Trainees 'rescue' YDMT's Jo Boulter!

The Dales Rural Trainees ‘rescue’ YDMT’s Jo Boulter!

This extraordinary training event was delivered free of charge by Stainforth-based Yorkshire Dales Guides, who are a partner in ‘Do it in the Dales’.

Dave Gallivan of Yorkshire Dales Guides said: “Collectively the instructors delivering today’s training have 99 years’ experience in mountain rescue. It’s brilliant to be able to pass on some of that experience to these young people who are working outdoors.”

The trainees brush up on their map reading skills

The trainees brush up on their map reading skills

The trainees themselves had a great time.  Sam Allsopp is an apprentice with Conservefor, the rural contractors and consultants based in Rathmell near Settle.  When I asked him about the day he said: “It was a very useful and exciting training event, teaching us lots of different skills such as first aid. It was also fun to meet the other trainees that are taking part in the project and to hear about their roles.”

Jo Boulter, Dales Rural Trainee Scheme project officer here at YDMT, added: “This exciting training event was very effective, providing the trainees with the necessary skills and confidence to cope with working in the demanding terrain and unpredictable weather of the Yorkshire Dales. We’re very grateful to Yorkshire Dales Guides for so kindly supporting this project by donating their time and providing such high quality training.”

The trainees 'rescue' YDMT's Jo Boulter from a 'dangerous accident' by the riverside!

The trainees ‘rescue’ YDMT’s Jo Boulter from a ‘dangerous accident’ by the riverside!

And what did I think? …Well it’s fair to say that this is certainly the most exciting and memorable training event I’ve ever been involved in, providing a unique ‘break-out’ day for our team of apprentices.  If your business is looking for an engaging and effective team-building activity I can highly recommend this as a great alternative to the, often lacklustre, hotel-based training events you might have experienced in the past!

The Dales Rural Trainee Scheme is providing 10 young people with potentially life-changing opportunities to gain the qualifications, experience and rural skills needed to manage the Yorkshire Dales landscape sensitively and sustainably. This project has been made possible thanks to generous financial support from the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA), the Garfield Weston Foundation, The Charles and Elsie Sykes Trust, J Paul Getty Jnr Charitable Trust, Lord Swinton’s Charitable Trust, Yorkshire Agricultural Society and players of People’s Postcode Lottery. We’d like to say a huge thank you for all this vital support.

Thanks also to Steve Finch Photography for kindly supplying all the lovely photographs featured above.

By Sarah Brewer, Marketing & Fundraising Officer at YDMT.