Our Rural Youth Project, the international research project launched by us with key industry partners, has signed up two new associates. We are thrilled that the National Federation of Young Famers and Rural Youth Europe have shown their support for the study, which is underpinned by an online survey and culminates in a vibrant rural youth festival in August 2018 on Rebecca’s farm in central Scotland.
The RYP is geared to find out more about young people aged 18-28 living or working rurally, and their aspirations and challenges, and the outcomes will be used to inform policy makers in the Scottish Government as well as the wider industry.
We have already received a huge wave of responses from across the world including Canada, Sweden, Australia and Germany, as well as from all around the UK from Somerset to Shetland, and are delighted to be partnering with two more very significant and proactive organisations in the rural sector to help us spread the word and add strength to the survey. The more data we have, the more useful it will be for all of us, both here in Scotland and in the other countries taking part, to help develop feasible strategies to make living and working outside urban centres accessible and rewarding.
With Brexit and rapid digital development, it is a really fascinating time for rural areas both politically and technologically, which could, if managed well, provide opportunity.
Rural Youth Europe and the NFYFC join industry organisations including Lantra, Scottish Rural Network and Scottish Enterprise as official partners for the Rural Youth Project. Russ Carrington, Chairman of Rural Youth Europe, a member-led NGO working to promote and activate young people in the countryside. said:
“We’re delighted to support this project which will yield some important data about the challenges for young people in rural areas. We believe that these challenges are common throughout Europe and by being better informed with hard data, our rural youth network can better tailor activities to help young people remain part of vibrant rural communities long into the future.”
In addition to putting forward the views of young people in rural areas, a series of international vlogs and social interaction through the RYP Facebook page hopes to identify rural leaders, who will play a fundamental role in the industry going forward, and to create an international network of young people facing similar challenges, where they can share ideas and explore solutions.
James Eckley of the NFYFC, which is one of the largest rural youth organisations in the UK, added:
“NFYFC is pleased to support a project that complements our own work of highlighting the concerns and needs of rural youth and providing future opportunities.”
The online survey, which can be reached via the RYP website www.ruralyouthproject.com, will close on 31 May 2018. It will be repeated annually until 2021. The 2018 Project will culminate in a three-day Rural Youth Ideas Festival, run by Jane Craigie Marketing from 1 – 3 August on a farm in central Scotland, and an action plan developed by the Project partners.
About the Rural Youth Project
The Rural Youth Project will be managed by Jane Craigie Marketing – a marketing and communications team with skills in PR, digital, event curation and strategy. The partners are LANTRA Scotland, National Federation of Young Farmers Clubs (NFYFC), Scottish Association of Young Farmers (SAYFC), Rural Youth Europe, Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Farmer, Scottish Rural Action, Scottish Rural Network and YouthLink Scotland.
This research-based project aims to develop feasible strategies to facilitate the involvement of young people in agricultural and rural activity by better understanding their current situation, aspirations, opportunities and challenges. It will engage with 18 to 28-year olds living in, or brought up in rural places throughout Scotland. It will also invite English and Welsh young people to participate to provide further data to compare and contrast the results in Scotland. Furthermore, it will draw comparisons with the international countries involved.
The outcomes will be shared with the research partners, and wider industry to help ensure that, collectively, we are informed and equipped to better support and inspire the future generations of Scotland.
The research will look to gather information on topics including: employment, education, skills and training, wellbeing, social interaction, connectivity, rural living, infrastructure, transport and travel, rural facilities, housing, opinions and aspirations.
It will also aim to establish if rural youth feel they have a voice within their local community, what further support they require and how best the industry could be engaging with them.