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How an Apprenticeship could benefit your equine career

Naturally, you want to make the right moves at the right time throughout your working life, but finding the information you need to make informed decisions isn’t always easy. As specialist equine recruitment consultants, we’re passionate about the part we can play in improving the role of an equine groom as a credible career pathway. Whether you’re starting out in the equine industry or you’re an established groom looking to build your career, read our top 8 considerations for grooms who would like to pursue the possibility of becoming an Equine Apprentice.

A step by step guide to becoming an Apprentice Groom

The Grooms List team have put together a simple step-by-step guide to the process of becoming an Apprentice Groom, from choosing an appropriate course to finding ongoing employment once you are a qualified Equine Groom.

The Grooms List Apprenticeships Zone - Become an Apprentice Groom - A Parents Guide - Infographic

Frequently Asked Questions

The course options, often referred to as ‘pathways’, are simple:

  • Breeding
  • Driving
  • Racing
  • Riding
  • Non-riding
  • Sporting Excellence Study Programmes

You can read more about the course options you can choose from here.

Course levels are available for all degrees of experience with horses, starting with a “traineeship” for complete beginners, right through to Senior Groom level for more experienced equestrians. Read more about the course levels here.

For job seekers, finding and starting an Equine Apprenticeship course is fairly straightforward. Search Equine Apprenticeship vacancies on The Grooms List and start applying for suitable opportunites to make it happen. An Apprenticeship is an employment status, so the steps between applying for and starting an Equine Apprenticeship are much the same as when applying for a regular job. Read more about these steps here.

Depending on the course, equine apprenticeships usually last 12-18 months.

1. You may need to attend college whilst working for your employer. This can vary from one or two days every 4-6 weeks to 1 in every 5 working days – speak to prospective employers and Training Providers about this.  You must be paid for your hours at college as well as your working hours. If the Apprenticeship course is supported by one of the workplace training providers all your training  will be delivered within the workplace and you will not have to travel offsite to receive this part of your training.

2. The employer must offer you adequate work-based opportunities to learn, practice and gain experience at everything needed to achieve their qualifications. This must amount to at least 20% of the time you spend at work (a minimum of 8 hours dedicated training each week).

No charges will be passed on to you or your parents in return for training. The majority of Equine Apprenticeships are fully funded by the Government, and any cost incurred by an employer cannot be charged to you.

The minimum hourly wage an Apprentice Groom must receive varies depending on their age and the stage you are at in your apprenticeship course.

  • Aged 16-17 years an apprentice is paid £5.28 per hour (April 2023-March 2024)
  • Aged 19 and over an apprentice in the first year of an apprenticeship can be paid at least £5.28 per hour
  • Aged 19 and over an apprentice in the second year of an apprenticeship must be paid at least the National Minimum Wage for their age.

An Apprentice Groom can be paid a higher hourly rate, but this is at the discretion of the individual employer.

No. “An apprentice” is a legal employment status and the apprenticeship course must be supported by a Training Provider, and all employment laws apply to apprentices just the same as any other more experienced/established groom. Every person a yard employs must be paid an hourly rate, at least the National Minimum Wage for Apprentices or for their age. There are strict guidelines on what can be deducted from the National Minimum Wage, which you can read more about here.

As an Apprentice is an official employed status the same laws apply as with any other job. The exception is that an Apprentice’s training must be included within the maximum hours worked, including time spent at college. The Working Time Directive sets out clear guidelines on how many hours an employee works:

  • Workers aged under 18 can’t work more than 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week, and must have 2 consecutive days off work.
  • Workers aged 18 and over can’t work more than 48 hours a week on average – normally averaged over 17 weeks, and do not require consecutive days off work.

There are plenty of job vacancies available that allow employees to take their own horse with them to the job. Many employers will accommodate a horse free of charge, others will charge a livery fee – discuss this with a potential employer when searching for Apprentice Groom Vacancies, and ensure the financial aspects are detailed in your Written Statement of Employment Particulars (employment contract).

Yes. Many Equine Apprentice vacancies are “live in” jobs. However, if you are under 18 years of age the employer must seek your parent’s/guardian’s written consent for you to live away from home.

Yes, but there are no guarantees that individual vacancies will still be open by the time you’re available to start the job. Stay in touch with any employers you’re in conversation with, and contact us with any queries and for guidance throughout your job seeking process.

Yes. Because an Apprentice is an official employment status, all employment laws apply, including the requirement to be issued a Written Statement of Employment Particulars (the “employment contract”); the Principle Statement no later than the first day of employment and the Wider Written Statement within two months of you starting work.

No. An Apprentice is an official employment status and all employment laws are applicable to the job role.

No. Either employee or employer can give notice in the normal way for any employment situation. Your apprenticeship can be transferred to a different employer and the employer can replace you with a new employee. However, you must have valid reasons for terminating an Apprenticeship and not simply decide that you no longer wish to continue with it. Speak to us for more information on this.

Add your Jobseekers Profile to The Apprentice Grooms Directory

Add your Jobseekers Profile to The Grooms List Apprentice Grooms Directory – completely free of charge! Search, save, and apply for jobs whenever you like from any device, even your mobile phone. Set up Job Alerts and receive an email each time a new job is added that meets your requirements. Contact us for advice at any time throughout your job hunt.

Who are we and why use us to find an Apprenticeship?

Employing an Apprentice Groom
The Grooms List by Caroline Carter Recruitment is invested in the Grooms of the Future via Apprenticeships.

  • We regularly work with Apprenticeship providers who deliver world-class Apprenticeship programmes via a highly experienced team of trainers/coaches who can deliver a comprehensive range of equine apprenticeships for all ages and levels of experience.
  • With established relationships with employers and job seekers alike, we are the go-to recruitment advisers in both the UK and overseas for equine job seekers.
  • We offer one-to-one, impartial, no-obligation careers and recruitment advice to job seekers throughout their equine career, from finding their very first job, building their CV, making the right moves at the right time.

Further reading

Equine Jobs with Accommodation

The provision of accommodation with an equine job can be a grey area for both employers and employees, with so many varying arrangements from yard to yard and job role to job role. Get it wrong and at the very least an employer struggles to find and keep staff, the employee loses out on their salary entitlement and, worst case scenario, the employer and employee find themselves in very hot water. Here we attempt to put a complex matter into as simple terms as possible, regarding the provision of accommodation with a job, based on situations regularly seen within the equine industry.

Wages in the Equine Industry

In April every year, at the end of one Tax Year and the start of the next, the National Minimum Wage and Living Wage increases. This is important for everyone in the equine industry – employers and employees alike. Equestrianism is a notoriously low-pay industry in terms of hourly salary, and salaries are frequently, if not always, topped up with extras, bonuses and tidbits. But in reality, how lawful are we in doing this without the advice and guidance of accountants and tax specialists? And what are the consequences of getting it wrong? The UK Government has strict laws regarding the minimum sum of money any individual can receive in return for work done and it can be confusing at least, a minefield at worst, when remunerating staff not just fairly, but legally too.  In this article, we take a timely look, and research answers to basic questions for both employers and employees regarding the National Minimum Wage and Living Wage and to highlight common misconceptions within the equine industry regarding wages, remuneration packages and the law.

“The biggest ever cash boost” to the National Living Wage – 1 April, 2024

The 1st April 2024 sees what the UK Government has called “the biggest ever cash boost” to the National Living Wage. This is inevitably going to receive a mixed response. Whilst workers will be looking forward to a boost to their income, some employers will struggle to meet these new legal requirements. In this article, we outline the changes and how they affect workers and employers in the equine industry.

The difference between employed, self-employed and freelance grooms

There is often confusion surrounding employment status, with “Freelance Grooms” being treated as employees, and employees being made responsible for their own Income Tax and National Insurance. The legal ramifications can be detrimental to BOTH parties, so it’s essential that everyone is clear on the work agreement and arrangement they have.

About Freelance Grooms and Freelance Groom Jobs

The appeal of a working life flitting from yard to yard, meeting many, many new horses (and people of course!) is understandable but is this perception realistic?  This article attempts to give you an overview of freelance grooming – the ins and outs and pros and cons in a nutshell…

15 Christmas Gift Ideas for Horse Lovers

The run-up to Christmas should be a time of excitement and anticipation.  Bonus boxes of chocolates in the tack room and singing along to cheesy Christmas carols on the yard. The problems arise when you find yourself stuck for Christmas gift ideas. How to find something that is the right mix of thoughtful, useful, appealing to that person and within budget. Well never fear, we are here to help. We have pulled together a list of our 15 favourite gift ideas specifically for people working in the equine industry, suitable for your employer, employee or college (or even yourself!).

New Years Resolutions for Equestrian Jobseekers

New Year seems like a natural time to press the “refresh” button on our personal and professional lives, or even just a chance to take stock and stay as and where we are, but in a better way. We have all heard the cliché (which is a cliché for good reason), “Today is the first day of the rest of your life”. I read with interest that about 70% of us make New Year’s resolutions, but less than 8% will be kept beyond February/March! It’s not surprising to learn that the top resolutions will include things like losing weight, quitting smoking, managing debt etc. but, also importantly, resolutions focussing on careers and job choices are right up there too.

New Year, New Career!

Traditionally, New Year is THE key time to commit to making positive changes in your life! Your New Years Resolution might be to get a better-paid job, achieve a better work-life balance, acquire new skills, or generally get more job satisfaction. Looking at the New Year ahead, a blank canvas ready for you to make those changes, what can you do to achieve those career goals?

Tips for Grooms Working with Horses at Christmas

For the vast majority of ‘normal’ people, Christmas means a nice relaxing few days off, spending time with family and lounging around over a long boozy lunch. For the vast majority of employers and grooms working with horses at Christmas, it just means business as usual. In hunting and racing yards Christmas is one of the busiest times of the year, as boxing day meets are one of the most popular days out for owners. Though it may be hard to fully convince yourself that shovelling poo is the first most ideal thing you would like to do on Christmas Day, there are plenty of ways to keep the festive spirit alive and still enjoy Christmas. Here are our top suggestions for how to survive the holiday season.

How to negotiate a salary in the equine industry

There are of course many factors which influence the longevity and success of any working relationship. Between grooms and employers, none of these are more hotly debated these days than that of grooms’ salary and the general package. You don’t have to look too hard on social media to see the disgruntled outpourings from all sides and every day I have conversations which clearly demonstrate much is still left to be done for this situation to become resolved. I don’t pretend to have an answer as to how we raise the income levels of this particular sector, (which is in many ways is similar to many of the “caring professions”) but I believe how and when the topic of salary and terms is covered within the whole interviewing process, if addressed, could have a positive impact on the longer term security of those involved.

In this article, I give both grooms and employers my advice on laying the foundations of long-term, happy, healthy and successful employment.

5 top tips to get your equine job application ACCEPTED!

Don’t miss out! Read our 5 top tips to help you beat the rest to that perfect job! Make sure you are fully prepared and know what you need to do to secure your next career move.

Make an impression! Top tips for a successful job interview: Part 3

It’s the day of your interview and you’re bound to be feeling at least a little bit anxious about this potentially life changing appointment, especially if you have never been to a job interview before. As discussed in parts 1 and 2, there is a great deal you can do in advance to maintain a calm and controlled approach, and how you manage the day of your interview can have a big impact on the interview being successful. You’ve got this far in your mission to get that perfect equine job, so it’s vitally important you don’t make any avoidable errors when it comes to that all important first meeting with your potential employer. Here are some considerations to put you in good stead throughout the day, as well as at your all important interview.

Horse characters that make you laugh, cry….and scream!

There are many perks to being a groom, but the greatest perk is the horses themselves. When you work with an animal day in day out it’s not just their beauty, their power or the thrill of going for a good gallop that keeps you hooked. It’s discovering their individual unique characters. The way they amuse us with their antics and the satisfaction we get from watching them learn and progress in their careers, as personalities we have a bond with, not just machines. That’s what makes the job so rewarding. A vital part of a groom’s skillset is the ability to recognise the different personality types and adapt the way they handle each horse to suit the individual. Of course, some horses make our job easier than others. Here are a few examples of the more ‘quirky’ characters you might come across as a groom or employer!

Making and accepting a job offer – the do’s and don’ts!

Sometimes, making and accepting a job offer can be somewhat rushed and not treated with the formality it really does require. Whilst it’s a huge relief to have reached this stage, it is by no means the end of the process! There is still time for things to unravel and go wrong, and sometimes badly wrong, which it’s why it’s so important for both employers and job seekers to approach this stage with care and to put aside a little quality time to get it spot-on! Read our guidance on making and accepting a formal job offer…

Mental Health in the Equine Industry

The Mental Health Foundation is a UK charity that campaigns for good mental health for all.  As you may have noticed (!) this week (14th-20th May) is Mental Health Awareness Week so naturally, we turn our attention to the matter of mental health in the equine industry. Taking the opportunity to reinforce our partnership with the BGA we are happy to support their initiatives where we can and as ever, to advise on issues which can arise within the yard environment, relating this directly to the employer : groom dynamic with which we are so familiar…

How to FAIL at your equine job hunt!

Job-hunting is not easy, believe us, we know this. Finding the perfect job that matches all your requirements in terms of preferred location, favourite discipline, nice accommodation, chances to ride, or not, welcoming your beloved menagerie of pets and/or significant other too. Sometimes it can truly feel like hunting for a needle in a haystack! So when your equine job hunt finally uncovers the ideal employment opportunity there are a few really silly mistakes you just don’t want to be making.

Here to help as always we bring you a simple guide on what NOT to do.

What are Stud Hands and Stud Hand Jobs?

The horse breeding process, from planning lineage to seeing the youngsters you’ve worked with embarking on their careers, is fascinating and it’s easy to imagine that a career in the stud industry is very rewarding. Afterall, top quality international winners are not bred by chance. Whilst it is hard to imagine that any horse lover WOULDN’T want to work in an environment with foals, as Becky Parker outlines in her tongue-in-cheek look at which equine disciplines reflect your character, not every job within the equine industry suits every horse lover. There are a variety of job roles within the stud industry and this article will focus on that of the Stud Hand – what are Stud Hands and Stud Hand jobs, and who can become a Stud Hand.

Equine Apprenticeship Myths – BUSTED!

The Grooms List by Caroline Carter Recruitment Ltd is delighted to publish this article by equine apprenticeship expert Linda Hudson, busting some common myths that often stop employers, would-be apprentices, and even parents from considering an equine apprenticeship.

A step by step guide to becoming an Apprentice Groom

Everyone likes to keep things simple, and sometimes gathering all the information needed before making decisions and acting on them can be time-consuming. With this in mind, The Grooms List team have put together a simple step-by-step guide to becoming an Apprentice Groom, from finding your Apprentice Groom vacancy to your options once you’ve gained your qualification.

How an Equine Apprenticeship can benefit your child

As specialist equine recruitment consultants, we see the good and bad outcomes of unstructured career pathways and the results of the “rooky errors” young people make without correct guidance. We’re passionate about the part we can play in improving the role of an equine groom as a credible career pathway and we’ll always do our utmost to encourage your child to make safe career decisions.

Many young people wishing to work in the equine industry will make a blind leap into it by accepting the first job available to them. Needless to say, this isn’t always a constructive foundation for a fruitful career in the equine industry. Many grooms resort to “job-hopping” in search of the training and opportunities they crave, without realising the damaging effect this has on their CV and future career prospects.

By contrast, an Equine Apprenticeship makes the job seeker focus on what they would like to achieve within their career and how they can achieve it. The job seeker can then source meaningful employment as an Apprentice Groom, enabling them to earn while they learn, laying the foundation of a promising career – and ultimately become one of the best professional grooms in the equine industry.

Why The Grooms List is THE GO-TO place for Equine Apprenticeships

It’s National Apprenticeship Week – a perfect time for grooms to explore the possibilities of gaining nationally recognised qualifications without having to take time out from work, and employers to consider expanding their team by taking on an apprentice groom! Whether you’re an employer or a learner/would be apprentice The Grooms List by Caroline Carter Recruitment is THE GO-TO place to go for Equine Apprenticeships! Everything both employers and learners need is here, in one place, from choosing a Training Provider to finding your next groom or job and everything in between!

Yard Dog Etiquette – Taking a dog to work

It is a fair assumption to say the majority of those who choose to dedicate their career to caring for horses will have also succumbed to the charm of four legged canine companions too. When it comes down to taking a dog to work with you, many employers are very open to this idea providing the dog is well trained and fit in with the resident yard dog/s. Sounds a simple request but, just like a proud mother, we can all be more than a little blind to our own child’s faults. This week we ask the question – Is your faithful friend a joyful addition or an accident waiting to happen?

Salaries in the Horse Racing Industry

Not a lot of people realise that salaries in the horse racing industry are different to those of any other equine sector. Certain Minimum Wage and employment standards are agreed between the National Trainers Federation and the National Association of Racing Staff (Also known as “NARS”), and these set the horse racing industry apart from any other equine industry sector. Read on to find out more about working in the horse racing industry.

How an Apprenticeship can benefit your equine career

As specialist equine recruitment consultants, we see the good and bad outcomes of unstructured career pathways and the results of the “rooky errors” grooms make without correct guidance. We’re passionate about the part we can play in improving the role of an equine groom as a credible career pathway.

Many equestrians join the equine industry by making a blind leap into it, accepting the first job available to them. Needless to say, this isn’t a constructive foundation for a fruitful career in the equine industry. Many grooms resort to “job-hopping” in search of the training and opportunities they crave, without realising the damaging effect this has on their CV and future career prospects.

By contrast, an Equine Apprenticeship makes the you focus on what you would like to achieve within your career and how you can achieve it. You can then source meaningful employment as an Apprentice Groom, enabling you to earn while you learn, laying the foundation of a promising career – and ultimately become one of the best professional grooms in the equine industry.

Employing an Apprentice Groom – Grooms of the Future Part 1

Trainee grooms, including apprentices, are a lifeblood of our industry and the ins and outs of employing them needs much more consideration than they currently get – the yard junior, the trainee and of course the official and safeguarded version of the working pupil, the apprentice groom, are the future. What we all invest today could reverse the sometimes depressing current trends in the industry for tomorrow. If you are sitting comfortably with a large glass/cup of whatever keeps you awake and concentrating, please do read on. We hope you will be glad you did and that you will share this info to anyone you think might benefit from it –  THE EQUESTRIAN INDUSTRY DESPERATELY NEEDS PEOPLE LIKE YOU!

A Basic Guide to Payslips

Understanding payslips is easier than you might think. From the 6th April 2019, it is an employee’s statutory right to receive a payslip, so it’s important that everyone understands them! Unless you are genned up on the ins and outs of gross salary, income tax, allowances, Workplace Pensions and National Insurance it may look like a confusing bunch of numbers, especially if you’re a worker receiving payslips for the first time. In this article we give you a basic guide to payslips, from who should be given payslips and why, through to understanding the various codes and figures.

Writing an Equine CV – What employers are looking for

Writing an equine CV doesn’t have to be daunting, long-winded or time-consuming, and it will make a HUGE difference to your job hunt. Find out more about the benefits of making a CV and documenting your work history as you go. The Grooms List even offers you FREE OF CHARGE a template to drop all this information into!

So, you want to become a professional rider?

To become a professional rider, charging around Badminton, sailing over the impossibly high Puissance wall at Olympia or dancing majestically across the Dressage arena in ‘s-Hertogenbosch is the sole dream of any pony mad child. But is this dream job REALLY what you imagine it to be? Have you got what it takes?

What does Job Longevity mean and why does it matter?

The most fruitful horsey careers are built on consideration and planning. Unless you understand some of the key things recruiting employers take seriously, you cannot structure your equine career development to your maximum benefit in terms of getting the best job choices, salary and associated benefits. Taking your first equine job and seeing where life takes you can be quite a ride, but if you stick to this as a strategy, it is unlikely to get the most the equine industry has to offer and it can lead you into some terrible situations too that can stop many a promising career in its tracks. Again social media is full of grooms with stories to tell on that front! In this article, we ask what job longevity means and how it might positively, and negatively, impact your equine career development.

Equine Apprenticeships – invaluable education or slave labour?

Fresh from the clutches of 11 years enforced education, drunk on your own freedom (honestly guv I’m just really happy), the prospect of earning a proper wage dangled in front of you tantalisingly, it can be tough persuading yourself to think long-term about career planning. The prospect of returning to a classroom for college courses or perhaps a degree holds no appeal for those who struggle with formal education or are just fed up with the confinement of a classroom. Apprenticeships provide an alternative way to achieve formal, industry recognised City and Guilds qualifications with minimum or possibly even no classroom time. Learners are able to ‘earn while they learn’ as the tagline goes. The equine industry is famously fast-paced and physical, and there is unanimous thinking when it comes to the verdict that there is really no substitute for practical, on the job training. An equine Apprenticeship allows you to gain this in an unexploited, structured and planned way whilst also gaining the piece of paper to prove it. Becky Parker discusses the pros, cons and alternative routes into a successful career with horses.

Equine Apprenticeships: Course Options – Grooms of the Future Part 2

Looking to build a successful career in a particular discipline or sector of the equine industry? Find out about the course options available to learners via and equine apprenticeship.

What is a Workplace Pension?

Since April 2017, it’s compulsory that all eligible employees receive a Workplace Pension as part of their employment contract, and this applies to grooms working in the equine industry. There is still a lot of confusion surrounding Workplace Pensions, who is eligible for one and who should be paying into one. So, what is a workplace pension? What does this mean? Who should expect to receive one? We have put together a simple guide to answer 10 common questions regarding Workplace Pensions in the equine industry

Have you got what it takes to become a Horse Riding Instructor?

What is it that makes a GREAT Riding Instructor? Here we take a look through a mixture of research, questioning and personal experience at the most important qualities a horse riding instructor must possess.

Looking for Work with Horses: Getting Started – your Jobseekers Profile

The Grooms List by Caroline Carter Recruitment has grown like crazy over the last year or so. We are told we have the best, the easiest to use website & the best service to grooms etc and of course, we are delighted by that…, but we want to do more for you.

It looks like many of you are choosing to register solely with us and not everywhere else so now you don’t have to maintain multiple profiles all over the place, to get the very best from this choice, you need to put the time in if you haven’t already, to get the very best results. Let’s face it, it’s fundamentally what we are all here for, (that and our blogs and the fun on our social media pages of course too we are told).

If you really are a serious job hunter and not just dawdling for your own reasons (?!)  don’t get disenchanted about the industry when the wrong things happen or things don’t happen at all – help us to help you and let’s make a start by looking at your Jobseekers Profile…

Choosing the RIGHT apprenticeship training provider

All apprenticeships are supported by a specialist training organisation and choosing the right apprenticeship training provider is hugely important to a success outcome for both the learner and the employer. Here we offer employers some tips and advice on finding and selecting the right apprenticeship training provider for your yard.

What is a Job Trial and why should I attend one?

So you think you have found the job you have been looking for? That’s great, but WHOA just hold your horses a second… In my experience, interviewing alone can be a very inexact science. Before you shake hands on the deal, I strongly recommend all job seekers and all employers road test each other first with a job trial, at a pre-agreed paid rate of course. This might be the one thing that for you, secures your decision or it may be that you will look back and consider how you really dodged a bullet. Of course sometimes, for some people, a job trial is not always practical, but if it is, move heaven and earth, do yourself a favour and have one. There is nothing like a road test for really seeing first hand if something might be a fit; and you know we are all about job satisfaction and job longevity here at The Grooms List by Caroline Carter Reruitment!  Becky has shared some of her thoughts about job trials and of course, I can’t resist chipping in here and there…

5 reasons why the equine industry needs Apprentice Grooms!

It’s National Apprenticeship Week 8th February – 14th February 2021 – a perfect time for grooms to explore the possibilities of gaining nationally recognised qualifications without having to take time out from work, and employers to consider expanding their team by taking on an apprentice groom! Why is this so important to the equine industry? Because the equine industry NEEDS you to! Before dismissing the idea of becoming or employing an apprentice, read our 5 reasons why the equine industry needs Apprentice Grooms…

Employment contracts in the equine industry

There is often much confusion about employment contracts in the equine industry, and it’s very easy for both employers and grooms to make mistakes that, in the worst case scenario, can be devastating further on in time. Read our simple guide and make sure you’re in the know and on the right side of the law when it comes to employment contracts.

A step by step guide to employing an Apprentice Groom

Everyone likes to keep things simple, and sometimes gathering all the information needed before making decisions and acting on them can be time-consuming. With this in mind, The Grooms List team have put together a simple step-by-step guide to employing an Apprentice Groom, from writing your advert to retaining your fully trained Apprentice Groom beyond their final qualification.

The “Written Statement of Employment Particulars” explained

A “Written Statement of Employment Particulars” is the part of an employment contract that has to be given in writing within two months of an employee starting work, and both employers and employees need to know what it must contain and what it can contain. Make sure you know where you stand!

How Coronavirus Affects Equine Recruitment

Yesterday evening the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced new, tighter restrictions on the movement and activities of individuals in Britain. As the no.1 equestrian recruitment agency, we’re keen that everyone understands how coronavirus affects equine recruitment, in order that disruption may be kept to a minimum while keeping everyone safe. This morning we have taken advice directly from the Government on how yards can cope with their staffing needs throughout this surreal and unprecedented time.

Get 10% off a First Aid Certificate

When working with horses, whether as a groom or an employer, we do need to acknowledge the physical risks we put ourselves and others in, often in remote locations. We have all seen the gory pictures, we don’t need reminding and most of us have at least one story to tell. As the first in a series of articles about how grooms can increase their salary, let’s start with the simple, effective, inexpensive and possibly life-saving step – get a First Aid certificate PLUS get a 10% discount on the course fees via The Grooms List! But beyond financial considerations, let’s not forget that we need to look after ourselves and each other. Find out more about options available to you, the difference it makes to your business or career and, of course, claim your 10% discount here!

Become a professional groom – 6 Simple Steps

At any stage in your life, deciding on or changing a career pathway is a very tall order. We have to identify a working life that is enjoyable, that we are not only capable of but are likely to be good at, and that will sustain us financially and provide for our retirement. It’s hardly surprising that so many of us passionate horse lovers opt for a career with horses! So many young horse lovers stand on the threshold of their adult life envisaging a long future of playing with ponies every day and being paid to do it. What’s not to love?! Well, quite a lot actually – living the dream can soon become very disenchanting… unless you do it right!

5 reasons why Apprentice Grooms are always #winning

You may not realise it, but Apprentice Grooms are always winning! Whether you’re a school-leaver looking to forge a successful career in the equine industry or an established groom who would like formal recognition of your abilities with qualifications, an equine apprenticeship will be an almost surefire way of achieving your goals…

Which Equine Disciplines Reflect Your Character?

It is undeniable that if you work within an equestrian discipline that actually interests you and suits your personality traits and experience levels, then your working life will be much more fun and you will thrive in that role for longer periods of time and to a good level, everything else being equal! I can spot a square peg in a round hole at 1000 paces and, it has to be said, this forms the basis of many discussions I have with both grooms/riders and indeed, employers. This is one of the benefits of using a recruitment agency like ours, as discussed in our recent article Why Use a Recruitment Agency. What is true is that grooming within any discipline requires reliability, consistency, hard work, and initiative. But this week, we take a characteristical tongue in cheek, whistle-stop tour through just a handful of popular disciplines. Becky Parker will ponder the various discipline-specific characteristics and it will remind you of why you suit a specific discipline, or it might help you to finally decide which of the horsey disciplines suit you, or even some of the people you know. See if you can guess which one Becky seems to have a bias towards?!

Maintaining health and fitness when working with horses

It’s an occupational hazzard that when you work with horses, sooner or later you will succumb to ailments and injuries of some sort which may have short, medium or even long term consequences and are specific to our industry. Working with horses + age = creaking gate syndrome, hard to avoid…or is it?

Equine Careers: BHS Qualifications

Whether to gain qualifications is always a hotly debated topic and many have strong opinions on the subject. There is no doubt about it that the BHS qualifications are prized highly throughout the world and will, especially when combined with additional practical experience, make you more sought after in certain areas of the equestrian job market both at home and abroad. They can be a door opener and an income booster in many situations! We are delighted to have another guest blogger on board to start the review on this big subject….

What happens when a job offer is withdrawn?

Offering and accepting a job offer can be a time of mixed emotions – happiness, relief, anxiety, and even confusion in some circumstances. But occasionally things go wrong when they’ve barely begun and the job offer is withdrawn. Where do employers and job seekers stand when a job offer/acceptance is withdrawn?

How to balance owning AND working with horses!

Incredibly, there are a remarkable number of admirable people who find working with horses all day, every day, isn’t quite enough. It is a truly a measure of a person’s dedication to an animal that, on top of what is widely considered a very demanding job, so many Grooms still choose to have their own horse(s) too. What does it take to successfully balance owning AND working with horses? How do Grooms do it?

Equine career planning in 4 simple steps

Most young people entering the equine industry as a career pathway dream of grooming at the Olympia Horse Show or exercise riding international sport horses or something similar, but due to lack of any real structured planning and implementation of said plan, many give up on their dreams or leave on the reality sooner or later. Equine career planning is the key to achieving dreams, trust us! What gets written down, reviewed and even measured, gets done! Here’s how it couldn’t be simpler in 4 simple steps…

How an Apprentice Groom can benefit YOUR yard

In so many of the blogs and articles we write for equine employers, we find ourselves referring to common difficulties when sourcing, securing and retaining good equine career grooms. It’s reasonable to conclude the pool of experienced grooms wanting to remain working with horses and available to yards is diminishing as the years pass. Trainee grooms, including apprentices, are a lifeblood of the equine industry and the ins and outs of employing them need much more consideration than they currently get.

Taking anyone on as an employee is a big responsibility with plenty of legislation to adhere to along associated pitfalls, so it’s very tempting to aim to keep things simple by seeking to only take on employees with experience and a solid employment history. Not only could you find this attempt to keep things simple actually complicates your recruitment drive, as you struggle to attract and secure established, experienced career grooms in what is undeniably a very competitive recruitment market for employers, but by shunning the notion of taking on an apprentice, quite simply, you could be missing out!

A Job Seekers Guide to Reference Checks

When applying for a new job it’s easy to assume that reference checks are the responsibility of the prospective employer, or the recruitment agency if applicable. But you want that job, right? Then help to secure it for yourself by being savvy when it comes to employment references and associated checks! Reference checks are not incidental to an employer selecting YOU as their new recruit, they are critical! Read on to find out how neglecting  employment references can kill any chance of you getting a new job.

What are Eventing Grooms and Eventing Groom Jobs?

If you love cross-country and a fast-paced life maybe a career in eventing is for you? What do you know the role of Eventing Grooms and Eventing Groom jobs? Do you have the relevant skills and experience? Do you want to gain them? Becky Parker takes us through the typical duties of a professional Eventing Groom…

Are you ready to be a Sole Charge Groom?

Sole charge groom positions can be sole charge for just some of the time when other team members are away, or the job can be fully sole charge 100% of the time, but both scenarios require specific skills and qualities to perform to expectation and the satisfaction of all involved. This can be a hugely rewarding, career-enhancing experience, but it can also challenging. It’s important when applying for such a position that you are suitably equipped in all respects to fulfil the obligations that go with the territory…

What are Dressage Grooms and Dressage Groom Jobs?

For most of us, certain horse sports are of particular interest whether we have competed ourselves or merely enjoy following the sport at shows and on TV, but for career grooms it often provides a career pathway in which the groom can become specialised. But in order to become a successful, professional groom you must genuinely appreciate, if not love the discipline you are devoting your working life to. In this article we take a look at the role of the dressage groom…

Understanding Holiday Entitlement in the Equine Industry

We all know horses don’t look after themselves, and it appears that this may lead to some confusion at times regarding holiday entitlement in the equine industry. Whether you’re an employer or an employee, don’t make assumptions about holiday entitlement, make sure you know the law!

Feeding YOURSELF for performance – healthy eating for equine grooms!

Take a stroll around any yard at feed time and you will see grooms carefully measuring and allocating feeds for each individual horse. Usually, there will be a complex ever-changing board to ensure each horse has a diet relevant to their workload that allows them to reach their peak performance. By contrast, poke your head into the groom’s kitchen, take a peek in the tack room bin, glance in a grooms car passenger footwell and the chances are high there will be great evidence of a less thought out diet. For some reason when it comes to caring for ourselves the trend for living on Redbull and Mars bars still prevails for many grooms. Yet it makes no sense! If our end goal is to provide the best possible care for the horses in our charge, one of the first steps should be to ensure we are in our best possible form to do that job, and that begins with the fuel we use to power ourselves.

Competition Grooms and Competition Groom Jobs

A good Competition Groom/Travelling Groom is an indispensable part of a competing team, without whom most top riders would not be able to achieve what they achieve in the showring. When a good groom is secured (no need to name names here!) they are undoubtedly the glue that holds things together in the moments that really count, and the moments that aren’t often counted too yet are equally critical to top performances! For those of you considering competition grooming as a career option, or for those of you who have elements of competition grooming within your everyday grooming role, we can help you up your game to big league level, or even assist in getting you “interview ready” for this exciting career move. The earning potential that comes with such a role also has its attractions…read on…

Equine Careers: How Grooms can increase their salary

Several times, every day I am involved in discussions with grooms and employers about salaries. One of the most commonly asked question by grooms in what is considered a poorly paid profession is, “what can I do to get the top end of the salary ranges advertised in your jobs?”. There are some basics you can achieve fairly easily, and any investment in your career will undoubtedly pay back dividends, but you don’t want to make moves and spend money on qualifications and licences willy-nilly. Through a series of articles over the next few months, we will tell you how you could get some serious extra money in your pay packet each month. Bookmark this page to easily access the entire collection of articles as it grows…

Get an HGV Licence – with 20% off!

By having a 7.5 tonne+/HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle) license, and a certificate to legally transport horses (as part of your job, or as your job) you can add anything from circa £200 up to £1000 or more to your monthly wage. If you are a freelance groom to add this service to your skills repertoire can really improve your “offerings” to prospective clients. The outlay required to get these qualifications can be steep for many, but at The Grooms List we have many jobs that come in where the Employer is happy to fund this training in return for a contractual promise to remain in the role for which you were employed for a mutually agreed fair period of time. The Grooms List by Caroline Carter Recruitment has negotiated a cracking 20% discount for you or your employer to make this more affordable for you by partnering with a specialised HGV trainer who trains over 200 people per month. They are the UK’s largest specialist vehicle training company, training for some of the UK’s biggest organisations. Becky Parker has done some further research on the nuts and bolts of the subject. You need to read this…

Make an impression! Top tips for a successful equine job interview: Part 2

Keenness to impress your potential employer can lead to you to be nervous, shy, overly bold, and even inclined to do things you would not do under other circumstances. Here are some key points to consider about keeping yourself safe when preparing for, and attending an equine job interview…

Taking a horse and pets to a new job

It’s true to say that horses are not a hobby but a way of life and for the majority, if not all of us, horses are in our blood. It’s a passion that can’t be ignored, resulting in many of us keeping horses, working with horses – or both. But how do our four-footed family impact our employability and career development?

Make an impression! Top tips for a successful equine job interview: Part 1

Going for a job interview is usually daunting, especially if you’ve never been to one before! You only get one chance to make a first impression, so it’s important you make the most of this first meeting. Here are some key considerations in the process leading up to a job interview…

Website How-To Guide for Jobseekers

Now you are registered with the equine industry’s newest and fastest growing recruitment agency, here are a few tips to help you get the best out of our website and services!

The Ultimate Equestrian Apprentice Startup Kit

My name is Olivia Alstad. I’m a Canadian rider who moved to the UK to train and learn more about the sport of eventing. With no plan or education on the apprenticeship scheme, I made all the rookie errors! I’ve written an article to help you in your pursuit of a suitable apprenticeship, avoiding all the major mistakes that I made!

5 Major differences between horses as a hobby and as a career!

They say “choose a career you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”, and for a lot of horse lovers a career in the equine industry would be a dream come true. But how different is working with horses to keeping them as a hobby?

What’s it like to work on a Pre-Training Yard?

Every horse has the potential to become a success and just like athletes, it all comes down to training. One of the many great things about working with horses is the huge variety of jobs available to us. This week we look at the world of Pre-Training and what exactly a job on a yard like this involves. 

Why use an Equestrian Recruitment Agency?

Finding your way through the minefield that is job hunting is a tricky task. Some may liken it to the proverbial hunt for a needle in a haystack, but No! let’s not bring that kind of negativity here. Undeniably there are many shady employers around but equally, there are still quite a few good, generous, kind-hearted and appreciative ones too. Becky Parker outlines the role we play in the recruitment process of both employers and jobseekers in the equestrian industry.

Could you be a Work Rider?

Many young equestrian enthusiasts dream of a job riding horses – no mucking out, just days in the saddle of various horses, then being paid for it! In this article, we turn our attention to the role of a Work Rider. Becky Parker gives us the lowdown of life as a Work Rider, the pay, how to train and become one and details what it REALLY takes to make a successful career as a Work Rider.

Location! Location! Job Location!

Truly, the matter of job location can be a difficult subject to broach as a recruitment consultant. A huge part of me screams to write an extremely persuasive article urging you to broaden your horizons and keep an open mind to jobs anywhere in the UK, or even abroad. The opportunities this opens up to you are tenfold to those restricted by job location. So, how important is it that your next job is in the ‘right’ location? Is it worth being flexible for that DREAM job? We take a look at when you should be flexible and when you should hold out for your ideal.

9 Types of Groom You DON’T Want to Be!

At the moment there are so many blogs and articles discussing the negatives that grooms face, I often wonder if we have the balance right. We are always hearing about the grooms perspective and the horror stories encountered, which undoubtedly do exist and need to be aired. BUT….whilst they need to be addressed properly, mature, reasonable grooms will know there are also stories on the other side of things which can range from funny to annoying, to toe-curlingly bad, and sometimes dangerous in the extreme. The following article exploring some groom stereotypes takes a slightly light-hearted look at the other side of employment within the equine industry, poking a bit of fun here and there but nevertheless, a very serious message is underlying. Make sure you AREN’T one of these…!

We’re in partnership with the BGA and the EEA!

The Grooms List by Caroline Carter Recruitment is delighted to work in partnership with the British Grooms Association (BGA) and Equine Employers Association (EEA). As an equine recruitment agency, by joining forces with these invaluable organisations we believe we can strengthen the professional equine industry by making accurate advice and resources easily accessible to all employers and employees in the equestrian world, in the right way, at the right time…

A Sneak Peek at an equine Employers Wishlist…

It is surprising how often we come across bewildered job seekers wondering why they are struggling to secure their ideal job. Sometimes the reason is obvious, other times less so. No matter how incredibly experienced/qualified and talented a groom you are there can be many reasons things don’t happen as quickly as you might like. Clearly, 3 horses, 4 dogs and a magpie (yes really) won’t help, but the more subtle reasons usually take the eyes or ears of a genuine and interested recruitment expert! We often can quite quickly help you to identify what the blocks are. Our team compilation ’employers wishlist’ is not designed to be an exhaustive tick list by any means, but it does pretty much cover most of what we have heard over the years.


Caroline Carter Recruitment Ltd
The Stables
Fildyke Road
SG17 5LU
0203 006 5730 / 07747 686 118

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