Hartpury University’s Head of Inclusivity, Dr Linda Greening, joined governmental, veterinary, charity and equestrian leaders at the 30th National Equine Forum last week to discuss topical issues facing the sector. Workforce sustainability was high on the agenda, as the equine industry addresses a shortage of talent.
The event took place at The Institution of Mechanical Engineers in London and was also live streamed to a global audience.
HRH The Princess Royal, President of the National Equine Forum, opened the event by giving her perspective on the current situation in the horse world, drawing on her own experience both as an Olympian and her patronage of a number of equine bodies.
Linda contributed to a packed session exploring workforce sustainability in the equine sector alongside expert speakers from organisations including the British Horse Society, British Horseracing Authority, British Grooms Association and Equestrian Employers Association. Her contribution highlighted the importance of taking an inclusive approach to recruitment and retention.
Panellists debated the forthcoming minimum wage increase and what is needed to ensure the survival of the industry. They discussed working conditions and ways in which more flexible and hybrid approaches to the working day could boost the appeal and retention rates of equine careers. The ethics of employers, candidate skills gaps and ways in which a better work-life balance can be achieved were also explored.
Other panel sessions included topics around equine health, breeding, equestrian safety, and the equine industry in a changing world.
At the end of the day, Imran Atcha, a founding member of St James City Farm Riding School in Gloucester, was announced as the winner of the Sir Colin Spedding Award at the forum. Imran was awarded an honorary degree by Hartpury University in 2021, for his outstanding contribution to equestrianism and community issues.
View the event brochure and learn more about the event here.
In her role at Hartpury, Linda continues to develop and oversee local and national outreach activity and programmes designed to raise aspirations, awareness, and confidence around applying to higher education. These activities are delivered to groups that historically have been considered non-traditional university applicants. Linda’s role also involves evolving culture and policy to ensure that these students feel welcome and can access opportunities in the same way as majority group students when they enrol.
Hartpury University and Hartpury College offers a range of equine diplomas, undergraduate and postgraduate degrees covering topics including horse management, business, science, sports coaching, horseracing and research.