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Established by former Army officer, Fiona Galbraith, in 2017, RURALINK is a growing group of experts who believe that military service-leavers are ideally placed to fill a wide range of increasingly technical roles on the land.
We take on commercial contracts offering employment and experience to service-leavers in transition and demonstrating first-hand the capabilities of ex-forces people to our customers. United by our own military experience and can-do attitude, we work in focus teams to bring the right blend of military and land-based experience to each project. And if we know some-one else who can help, we'll gladly introduce you.
We also provide free career change coaching to service-leavers to help them establish themselves in a new career in the sector. We also lead the flagship ELC-registered Rural Business course for service-leavers looking to make the transition into leadership roles in the food, farming, land-management and renewables sectors.
We are also very pleased to have launched Ruralink Training, which is delivering new learning opportunities to the sector. Our first offering, launched in May 2022, is the Rural Facilitator, an already highly acclaimed, practical, professional development course which improves the effectiveness of all those wonderful people working hard to deliver social, economic and environmental change across our communities.
In July 2023, we launched the new course for Integrated Local Delivery (ILD) practitioners. "Local Action : Global Impact" is mentored by experts with several decades experience of delivering impactful local projects leveraging national and international funding to deliver global impact. Find out more and register for your place on the course page.
RURALINK works nationally with the agricultural, horticultural, land management and related land-based industries offering a wide range of consulting services whilst also working to a advocate for and actively generate and sustain career pathways for service leavers and veterans.
... for Businesses ...
We offer a range of business development and technical consultancy services to the sector. Our pool of associates is dynamic and we are confident we can build a team to deliver your project to a high standard.
We also focus on helping individual businesses find and employ ex-military staff, including assistance targeting candidates with a specific skill-set, translating their CVs to understand their career history and supporting both parties to bridge any cultural gaps in the early stages of employment.
We are particularly interested in building strategic, enduring relationships with larger companies and professional bodies as well as building up our bank of partner businesses who wish to support service-leavers by offering work experience.
... for the Military Community ...
Wherever you are on your resettlement journey, planning ahead, actively looking for your new career or a couple of years into your new life on civvy street and wondering if there is more to life, if you value quality of life, personal fulfilment and making a tangible contribution to your community, farming, food production, land management and countering climate change, a whole host of land-based careers may suit you.
You already have the skills, technical qualifications and personality needed by land-based employers and traditional and new roles are coming available every week. But breaking in can be difficult so we help you build experience and connections and support you along the way. Whether you are exploring your options, seeking a few weeks work experience or part-time volunteering or are ready for your first full-time role, we can help you achieve your goals.
In 2022, we are introducing a small number of bespoke courses which we have developed specifically to provide the type of support and introductions (networking and experience) we have been offering in a more ad hoc way for several years. Not only is this more efficient, but it is also sustainable. These courses are optimised to allow delegates to benefit from offsetting with an SLC or ELC which enables Ruralink to cover the costs of producing a high-quality presentation while minimising the outlay for individuals.
In 2022, we are increasing our links with employers offering GatewayJobs which are ideally suited to service-leavers. We are working hard to improve our service so that, across a growing range of land-based careers, we can offer a full package of advice and guidance to service-leavers who request it all the way through to early career mentoring in the all-important GatewayJob. We offer detailed support to candidate and employer in the recruiting and application process and during the first few months of employment so that quality people in vital land-based roles unite and thrive.
By sponsoring and facilitating The Rural List, we nurture a network of people just like you who benefit from meeting and supporting each other through resettlement and their follow-on career on the land.
We do not charge resettling personnel for these services.
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We are very proud to have been awarded the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award, which particularly recognises our work to advocate with rural businesses on behalf of the military community. We encourage our partners to sign the Armed Forces Covenant themselves.
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The Ruralink FARMERS Values are common to service-leavers and land-based businesses.
Veterans have all of these as they are closely aligned to the Values and Standards of all the Services.
Veterans are FORMABLE - Used to changing roles and location, they will prepare thoroughly and expect to start delivering real value within days of arriving in a new role. They are culturally aware and able to get on well in any team.
Veterans are ADAPTABLE - They will readily turn their hand to a wide variety of roles and cope well with changes at work. And they will bounce back quickly after any set back: in fact, they are likely to be the person who stays calm and sees the opportunity whilst others are still measuring risk.
Veterans are RELIABLE - They will turn up on time (5 minutes early) with the right kit, ready to work.
Veterans are METICULOUS - Coming from an environment where attention to detail saves lives, they will be thorough and "sweat the small stuff."
Veterans are ENERGETIC - Generally fit and healthy, veterans bring energy, a good sense of humour and an infectious desire to see measurable progress on the job.
Veterans are ROBUST - Rain doesn't bother them! And they can cope with periods of long or unsociable hours.
Veterans are SELFLESS - They work hard to get the job done and put the needs of the mission and the team before their own. They are quick to credit other team members for success and frequently use "We" where others may say "I".
In exchange for all this, veterans look for an employer who provides fair leadership, supports their career development and values each member of the team.
Rural businesses struggle to find reliable, robust team-players.
Over 14,000 highly trained personnel leave the armed forces every year, the majority with technical skills and qualifications which are a good fit for rural businesses.
Service leavers benefit from a resettlement package which supports a period of work experience and financial support for re-training up to five years after leaving.
Ex-military personnel of all ranks are highly trained pragmatic problem-solvers, planners and creative thinkers, used to living with and managing change. They may not have a detailed knowledge of your business but they will certainly ask why you do things the way you do, make constructive suggestions for change and are capable of managing that change with you. Crucially, they have worked in an environment that expects collaborative planning but demands unity once a decision is made, so they will pull behind your business plan once in place, even if they advocated for a different direction.
We have a small core team who work remotely to manage the head office function. For each project, we then engage expert consultants, including ex-military wherever possible. This provides our clients with unrivalled expertise, cultural context and a direct link into the military community. It also provides the ex-military consultant with a “Gateway Job” from which each can go on to develop their own land-based career with us, with our client, or elsewhere in the industry.
Our flagship course is the Rural Business Careers Gateway Course delivered in partnership with the Royal Agricultural University (RAU). Eligible for an ELC, this 2-week course is specifically designed to bridge the gap from Defence to rural business.
We are also developing training for the sector under our new brand, Ruralink Training, including the highly acclaimed Rural Facilitator course.
The Armed Forces Covenant is the nation's commitment to the military community in recognition of the sacrifices service personnel and their families make for us.
Fiona Galbraith signed the covenant for Ruralink on 23 August 2019. We were delighted to be awarded the Bronze Award within days and then the Silver Award one year later. You can read our pledges here and find out more about the scheme here.
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