Taking on a student for work experience is one of the most popular ways of recruiting staff for the equine industry, says skills council Lantra.

A recent survey by Lantra, the sector skills council for environmental and land-based industries, has shown that nearly three-quarters of animal care and welfare businesses have taken on work experience students as full time employees.

Lantra is reinforcing the message to the equine industry as the squeeze on university places this year has forced an increasing number of young people into gap-year placements.

“The results are startling,” said Lantra’s Lisa Jarvis. “Many businesses see work experience as a duty, but our survey has shown there are real tangible benefits.”

The survey sampled 144 equine businesses, vets and animal care professionals across the UK. Of those, more than 86.7% said they offered work experience, as a way of helping existing staff with their workload and offering something to the community.

Some 62.7% of equine businesses sampled said they took on work experience students as a way of influencing the quality of future employees.

Lisa Jarvis added: “Taking on work experience can enhance your community reputation and give you the chance to harness local media.

“In addition, your business can gain a fresh perspective and new ideas.”

A copy of Lantra’s Guidance for Employers: Getting Involved in Work Experience and Work-Related Learning is available to download at www.lantra.co.uk/guidance