Teenagers from 13 schools across the province have taken part in this year’s semi-final of the ABP Youth Challenge, a skills development initiative for teenagers from the agri-food business ABP.
Judging of this year’s semi-final took place online due to Covid 19 restrictions with teams presenting their ideas and displays to camera for a panel of independent judges.
The judges included representatives from leading organisations across the farming, agri-food and education sectors including Queen’s University Belfast; Southern Regional College; the Ulster Farmers Union; the Livestock and Meat Commission; ASDA, Ulster Bank; DAERA; CAFRE, and Business in the Community NI.
The teams that progress to the next stage will take part in an 18-month skills development programme. Under the guidance of ABP and the NI Angus Producer Group the finalists will be rewarded with a hands-on experience of rearing Angus cross calves and profiting from their sale to ABP; whilst gaining employability skills and knowledge of the beef industry. The proceeds of the sale of each team’s calves to ABP will be awarded to each group. One overall winning team will also receive a £1,000 cash prize for their school.
This year’s semi-finalists were from Ballymena Academy; Ballycastle High School; Banbridge Academy; Belfast Royal Academy, Castle Tower Special School Ballymena; Cookstown High School; Cross and Passion College, Ballycastle; Dalriada Ballymoney; Gaelcholáiste Dhoire Dungiven; Magherafelt High School; Omagh Academy; Royal School Armagh; and Saintfield High.
Managing Director of ABP in Northern Ireland, George Mullan said, “ABP is committed to playing its part in developing the next generation for a sustainable of the local agri-food sector. The ABP Angus Youth Challenge aims to help bridge the gap between school and employment. We are delighted so many schools were able to take part during these challenging times. It is a clear signal of the benefits the competition brings to young people.”
The schools currently engaged in the 2019 – 2021 finalist programme are Aughnacloy College, Fivemiletown College, the Royal Belfast Academical Institution and Wallace High School.
The competition is also open to new entrants until 27th November. For details of how to take part visit: www.abpangusyouthchallenge.com