Q: If working full time, how many days holiday am I entitled to?

Stephen Place of Blacup replies: Under new European working time directives you are allowed four paid weeks holiday per year, plus all bank holiday entitlements. Usually people accrue these days at two days per calendar month worked.

Q: Is it necessary to risk assess every job in the stable yard under Health & Safety rules?

Stephen Place of Blacup replies: If you have five or more employees, you are required to risk assess all jobs that they are required to perform undertheir contract of employment. You are required to record all assessments and update or review them annually. If you have less than five employees you have to assess the risks and make appropriate recommendations, rules, or regulations to your staff.You do not though need to formally record the assessment.

Q: I have a level two NVQ qualification, how does this equate to British Horse Society qualifications?

Stephen Place of Blacup replies: The NVQ level two allows you to directly enter the Stage III examination, you have one chance to pass it or you will then have to take the Stage I & II and Riding & Road Safety examinations before you can go into the Stage III again.

Q: In my gap year on a HND I am required to find a suitable work experience placement, how do I go about this?

Stephen Place of Blacup replies: Your college should have a list of suitable placements, you can advertise your availability or cold call by telephone. The BHS Where To Train could help. If not, you could then try Training Providers, such as Blacup, who may be able to help you with a current vacancy.

  • The Blacup Training Group are a sponsor of the Horse & Hound National Association of Grooms and Students (NAGS).

    If you’re thinking of a career with horses, but college life isn’t for you, former mounted policeman, Stephen Place may have the answer.

    His company, The Blacup Training Group, runs a government-fundedtraining scheme, which helps young people gain equine qualifications while working full-time in the industry.

    Trainees are placed in approved yards where they work towards equine qualifications, usually over a two-year programme. Students areclosely monitored by Blacup staff who give them support in every area of their training.

    For more information visit www.blacuptraining.com