Equestrian businesses in England can now get equine-specific support and advice thanks to Lantra.

Earlier this month, Lantra, the sector skills council for land-based businesses, launched an Investors in People programme for the equine and farriery trade.

Investors in People (IIP) is a national programme designed to help businesses develop staff and improve profits.

Equine businesses in England, including livery yards, farriers, equine dentists and vets, can receive advice on topics such as increasing profits, training, business plans and staff turnover.

Specialist equine advisers can visit businesses offering support and advice. Each business owner is given a free consultation but will be charged for more indepth advice, prices being “dependent on scenario”.

Businesses can also work towards IIP status, showing they operate with a “keen interest in employee development”.

Peter Martin, Lantra’s chief executive, said: “Investors in People helps businesses become more competitive, dynamic and professional.

“Lantra is committed to improving workforce competence, business and management skills and reducing skill shortages.

Employers need to constantly review and update the skills of their staff. Only by doing this can they maximise the return possible from their staff, who are their greatest asset.”

Margaret Linington-Payne from the British Horse Society, which is an IIP-approved employer, welcomed the move.

For more information, visit www.lantra.co.uk/investors-in-people.

This news story was first published in the current issue of Horse & Hound (28 April, 2011)