Tuesday, September 08, 2020


Horse Racing Ireland has today announced it’s education and training strategy results.

Of the 699 respondents who took part in the Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) online survey to understand the educational and training needs of those working in the racing and breeding industry, 170 were employers in the industry, 482 were employees and 47 were students. The survey was conducted from November 4 to December 16 last year.

Action from last week’s Punchestown Meeting Photo: Caroline Norris/Racing Post

The key learnings gleaned from the survey among all cohorts was the love of the horse and horse racing. In addition, a range of training needs were identified such as business skills, horse health, horse/stable management, and personal skills.

Financial challenges and getting time off for further training are common concerns for all survey participants. Work hours and low income are a challenge for employees while set-up costs and staff shortages affect employers.

To address the survey findings, HRI have developed the industry education and training strategy 2020-2022, focusing on three key pillars:

1.    Attract people to join the racing and breeding industry

2.    Develop people to deliver and grow their skills and career in the racing and breeding industry

3.    Support employers to retain staff to deliver and grow within the racing and breeding industry

The three strategic priorities will provide HRI with actions to develop a range of subsidised education and training services to the entire industry to upskill, re-train, recruit and retain staff.
Grainne Murphy, HRI’s Industry Education and Training Manager, said: “This was the first time a training education survey was conducted across the horse racing and breeding industry and provided us an opportunity to hear directly from people working in the industry. The data provided has helped to shape and inform our training and education strategy 2020-2022.

“Improving training and education opportunities must be a shared endeavour and we hope data from this survey along with future surveys can help drive change. A huge thank you to everyone who took the time and effort to complete the survey, especially my colleagues in the Irish Stablestaff Association, the Irish Racehorse Trainers’ Association, the Restricted Trainers’ Association, the Jockeys’ Association, RACE, the Irish Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association and the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board in helping us deliver this survey.”

Bernard Caldwell, CEO of the Irish Stablestaff Association, commented: “The uptake in the survey is very positive and more importantly, the results will give HRI the information to develop lots of education and training services which will be hugely beneficial to those already working in racing and breeding and those who want to join our wonderful industry.”

Michael Grassick, Irish Racehorse Trainers’ Association CEO, commented: “With the 699 respondents it indicates that a lot of work was done in the background and I would like to thank HRI and all the team. As an employer group it has never been as important to be up-to-date with industry training and education.”

Contact Newsdesk: 045 432147

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