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GFY Community Innovation Campus

It’s been a while since we last updated you, please forgive us we have been a bit busy!

Latest News from ForYou Training – the Trading Name of Farmer Jones Academy CIC. (FJA)

Our aims at ForYou Training for 2023 are to build on the solid foundations of the past 6 years and create a brand new Community Innovation Campus at our base in Tain. But first, let’s take a look back at what we’ve achieved since Sarah Mackenzie and Richard Jones created FJA as Community Interest Company (CIC) back in 2017.

  • We have become an SQA, REHIS and Princes Trust Accredited Training Centre and have secured large contracts with Skills Development Scotland and the Highland Council to deliver on Foundation Apprenticeships and Employability Projects.
  • We were awarded the Best Social Enterprise in the 2019 Highland Business Awards.
  • Apprenticeship intake increased by 200% in 2021 delivering 78 Fully Qualified Food Technologies, Hospitality and Business Apprentices.
  • This figure is more than doubling again, to over 160 as we go through 2023.
  • To date, we have engaged with over 2000 youngsters in all these areas and in addition we are working with a further 497 young people across the North Highlands.
  • We have many examples of successful partnership agreements where we are working with school departments to offer a co-ordinated approach with Hospitality Skills for Work and Apprenticeships qualification to school students.
  • We currently employ 8 staff locally, with more sub-contractors delivering across the Highlands.
  • However, our work until now has largely been Schools or Holiday Club based and this is what is driving forward our ambitious plans to develop our own Community Innovation Campus at Tain.
  • For the future, we would like to see a whole range of skills training being available to young people who are not engaged in mainstream education.

GroForYou – The Future                                                                                                                                                 

Over the past 18 months ForYou Training has joined forces with another social enterprise run by Hugh Fullerton-Smith called Gro For Good. Hugh has developed the Aquaponic Gardens at Alladale, winning the Sustainability Category in the 2020 Scottish Green Energy Awards. So, our two award winning local social enterprises have come together to create a powerful force for positive environmentally sustainable change, with plans now drawn up and submitted to Highland Council for our first joint venture, the Gro For You Community Innovation Campus, on a site at Tain leased to us by Glenmorangie for 100 years on extremely generous terms. In addition, we have joined forces with the Tain and District Development Trust (TDDT) to develop the Tourism aspects of the site and promote Easter Ross as a the truly magnificent Tourist Destination that we already know it is!

The campus will run at a Grass-Roots level and will harness the work of schools, community and industry all in one place, providing a centre of excellence where people of all ages can come to learn new skills and take them back out into their community. Our longer term vision is that the project can easily be scaled up to transform rural communities globally!

Take a look for yourself at our vision for the future, and watch out for further regular updates, including our new Café 11 – opening soon in Tain!