Rural apprenticeship funded by local whisky

Cooper King Distillery in York is funding a young environmentalist to undertake an apprenticeship with the Yorkshire Dales Millenum Trust (YDMT). 

Why fund a rural apprenticeship scheme? 

According to the YDMT, more and more young people are leaving rural areas because of limited job opportunities, limited access to education and training, and high transport costs. That means that these rural areas struggle economically and have fewer people will rural-specific skills like conservation or looking after wild spaces. 

The apprenticeship programme not only benefits the individual apprentices but also has a broad impact on local communities, contributing to long-term positive outcomes for the region’s people, wildlife, and landscape. 

How is the distillery funding this apprenticeship? 

The distillery has pledged to donate £16,000 this year, funded by the sales of their single malt whisky and other spirits. For every bottle sold, £5 is directed towards the YDMT. 

The programme will provide young people with crucial training and hands-on experience in countryside management and urban green space projects. Most apprentices are undertaking the level 2 countryside worker apprenticeship. 

Protecting and conserving the UK’s rural environment 

On a blog post, the distillery said, “There is an urgent need to protect and restore our delicate rural landscapes, to reverse biodiversity loss and to help the UK achieve net zero by 2050.  

“By funding rural apprentices and removing these barriers, we enable young workers to carry out meaningful countryside management and community environmental projects.” 

Dr. Abbie Jaume, co-founder of Cooper King Distillery, said, “We’re delighted to help protect our planet while offering incredible opportunities to young talents.” 

Leah Galloway, development manager at YDMT, highlighted the challenges faced by young people in rural areas: “With the support of sustainably-conscious businesses like Cooper King Distillery, we provide opportunities for young people to embark on green careers, ensuring the protection of our special landscape for future generations.” 

Through initiatives like these, Cooper King Distillery and the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust are paving the way for a greener future, one apprentice at a time. 

Image: Canva
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