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Written Statement - Young Entrant Support Scheme (YESS): Next Steps

Alun Davies AM, Minister for Natural Resources and Food

The Young Entrant Support Scheme (YESS) was introduced in 2010 to support new entrants and succession in Welsh Agriculture.

YESS has two key objectives:

  • To support young/new entrants into farming. The support available  focuses on ensuring that those who are part of the scheme are equipped to deliver profitable, professionally run and sustainable farm businesses.
  • To encourage and assist succession within the Welsh farming industry.

The package of business support available consists of one-to-one mentoring, and access to bespoke business management training and tailored strategic awareness events through the suite of Farming Connect services.

Since its launch in 2010, 366 young and new entrant farmers have benefited from the scheme. Those involved have received some £5.1 million in financial support but have also benefited from the associated mentoring and business training. Farming today is about a lot more than animal husbandry, and education, training and especially mentoring from experienced individuals within the industry is vital to ensure our next generation of farmers are properly equipped to run their own thriving businesses and to act as leaders for the wider industry.

YESS has exceeded its original targets and the mentoring element of YESS was recognised in Gareth Williams’ Working Smarter report as a template that could be used in other support schemes in future..

The European Commission, Scottish and Northern Ireland Governments have all expressed an interest in YESS and it has  been very well received by the farming industry in Wales. Keen to build on the evident success of YESS, I have set in motion arrangements for a review of the existing scheme. With this in mind I am delighted to announce the appointment of Malcolm Thomas M.B.E in the role of external advisor to me on the future development of YESS and on support in the wider sense for the next generation into farming in  Wales.

The work will commence this week and  Malcolm will present his report in June 2013.