Training Opportunities


Please feel free to contact Julia Stephenson, Training Co-ordinator for further information on training or funding as detailed below.  Julia can be contacted on 01833 641010, or by e-mail on, or at our address 9-11 Chapel Row, Middleton in Teesdale, Barnard Castle. DL12 0SN



Please see possible funding sources under FUNDING 2022 below as most training can be at least part funded.  Links to qualifications appear at bottom of this page.

MiDAS Minibus Awareness Training was held here on 4th April using one of our accessible minibuses (please see separate Community Transport page for details).
Emergency First Aid at Work training will be held at UTASS in April (fully booked) however there are spaces available for Outdoor First Aid training on 20.4.22 arranged by another organisation and being held in UTASS.  The next EFAW course with places available is being held on Thursday, 26th May (£70+VAT). 
LANTRA ABRASIVE WHEELS is  booked for 11th May.
Lantra Chainsaw Maintenance & Cross Cutting (2 day course £250) will be held either on w/c 16th or 23rd May with the option to also continue to do the NPTC Felling Trees Up to 380mm over an additional 3 days in the same week.
Safe Use of Sheep Dip training and assessments are provisionally arranged, again with Fiona Lovatt of Flock Health and Bimeda for 7th, 8th & 10th June.
ROUGH TERRAIN TELESCOPIC – after 3 courses in 2021 we plan to run another course very shortly for 3 trainees- cost £350.  We are also planning a Lantra 360o Excavator course too.  Dates are 3rd + 4th and 12th + 13th May.
During week commencing Monday, 27th June there will be the opportunity to do the NPTC Safe Use of Pesticides (PA1 theory training & online assessment on the Monday) with PA2 (mounted) and PA6 (Handheld) training later in the week, followed by an individual assessment the following week.
BRITISH WOOL SHEARING COURSE (16 or 15+with parental consent) this course will be held at Hill House, Woodland on Saturday and Sunday 25th & 26th June, with the possibility of a further course on the Monday and Tuesday as well.
For how to shear sheep from British Wool, please see step by step guidance on this link
Very recently several young trainees have done Pre Tractor Test preparation sessions alongside their tractor delivered by Deepdale Offroad, with funding from the Wellesley Trust and Weardale Rural Training.  We wish them the best of luck with their Tractor Test.
Managing Medicines Flock Health Ltd was held in Teesdale and Weardale during February with the course accredited by Fiona Lovatt with Red Tractor.  Around 70 trainees attended the courses. 
NPTC Level 2 assessments for Transport of Animals by Road (Short Journeys) relating to journeys over 40 miles as part of an economic activity can be arranged periodically and were held last in March – cost £75.  Prior registration is required.
A two day Hedgelaying Introductory course was held in November ’21 with plans to run another course in 2022.
Northumbria Dry Stone Walling Association Taster courses for 11th June and 23rd July are now sadly fully booked. If you would like to know more about the Northumbria Drystone Walling Association please see
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     Trainees and hosts at the Northumbria Drystone Walling Taster held at Woodland 

FUNDING – 2022


UTASS are delighted to announce that Weardale Area Action Partnership will again be offering part funding to Weardale residents and/or those employed in Weardale. Here is a link to the application form to return to UTASS detailing your interests which also lists the subsidised rate trainees would contribute towards the training AppForm-WAP- 15.6.21-JCS
Training  got underway at Frosterley, utilising WAP part funding for two trainees to attend the two day NPTC Rough Terrain Telescopic training, followed by assessments, with another two trainees coming to UTASS to gain their NPTC Certificate of Competence for the Transport of Livestock and NPTC Safe Use of Sheep Dips qualifications during June.  Also in June one Weardale trainee joined with three others to gain their Lantra Chainsaw qualification and another two trainees from Weardale were happy to improve their shearing skills on the British Wool Shearing course.  Two more Weardale trainees are doing their NPTC Safe Use of Pesticides training during August, whilst more have attended Hedgelaying and Quad Bike Training.
The application form can be downloaded here: DriverTrainApp-2022 alternatively e-mail or phone 01833 641010.
We have secured funding for young drivers for 13-15 Year Old Lantra Tractor Driving, Pre Test Tractor sessions, Quad Bike Training (16+), trailer or car driving lessons. 
This funding will provide opportunities for young people to learn new skills and qualifications enabling them to access training and/or employment outside their immediate locality.  
Please see 2019 images of this training below and feedback from previous trainees.

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Photos by kind permission of the Teesdale Mercury.

Feedback from applicants who have accessed this opportunity in 2021 include “Thank you for giving me the amazing opportunity … I really enjoyed my day and learnt loads of new agricultural hazards… which is why I want to say a massive thank you!  (The trainer) was a fantastic tutor making the day enjoyable and interesting.  I have already started to use the skills I learnt on my family farm and they have come in rather handy…  Please could you also pass on my thanks to the Wellesley Trust Fund for funding the training, I really appreciated it.” i
A trailer trainee has commented “… thank you for all the support and guidance both financially and practically.  Thanks again, so glad we have Utass to be there to help us all.”
ANOTHER FUNDING OPPORTUNITY FOR YOUNG PEOPLE ONLY – If you are a young person living in Middleton-in-Teesdale or surrounding parishes and would like funding to attend any of the following, please get in touch with Julia at UTASS, as Middleton Educational Trust are providing funding for the following:- 
  • Drystone Walling (May & July – 14+);
  • British Wool Sheep Shearing (last weekend in June – 16 or 15+ with parental consent);
  • Introduction to Hedgelaying (October – 16+) and
  • NPTC/Lantra Basic Chainsaw Maintenance & Crosscutting (TBA shortly – 16+)
Teesdale Branch of the National Farmers Union are offering £4,000 of funding towards the cost of agricultural and farm related training courses, including diversified farm activities, at 50% of the cost, up to a maximum of £250, excluding VAT.   
They are asking interested trainees who have been NFU members for a minimum of two years, or are direct family members or employees, to register at the NFU Barnard Castle Group Office on 01833 638286. 
Once eligibility is confirmed by Peter Waistell, Group Secretary  trainees should approach training providers, such as UTASS to check training availability and explore what is available.  Once the agreed training has been completed, the NFU Office will require a receipted invoice from the trainer to reimburse the NFU member. 
Funding is still available for people aged 16+ living in the Teesdale area (during March ’21 several young people have applied to this fund for training prior to taking their Tractor Test and other upcoming training).
The funding not only provides the opportunity for unemployed people to undertake training, gaining specific skills, moving them closer and/or into employment, it enables people employed in low paid jobs to acquire new/additional skills, enabling them to progress in their career and/or gain additional/new employment.   The Discretionary element complements the project by removing barriers, preventing the clients accessing training, for example, travel, resources etc.   
Prospective new employers, looking to engage suitably qualified employees, could also benefit as they can direct potential employees towards the project, if they are lacking relevant qualifications.
In today’s climate, due to Covid, the need for this funding is vital, to be able to respond to the demands of specific training needs, where there is no mainstream funding available. 
For more information please contact Julia Stephenson at UTASS or Denise Hopps, Project Officer, Bishop Auckland College on 01388 443078 (Ext3502) or


NPTC Safe Use of Sheep Dips dipperside assessment in progress.
BRITISH WOOL SHEARING COURSE 2019 – 19 trainees attended last year’s course at Hill House, Woodland, by kind permission of  John & Fay Hutchinson.  The two courses spanned over 5 days, due to wet weather.
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Guidance Notes on Transporter Authorisations
UK animal transporter: application for type 1 authorisation
Lantra Chainsaw Maintenance and Cross Cutting
NPTC Safe Use of Veterinary Medicines
NPTC Level 2 Award In Safe Use of Sheep Dips
NPTC Rough Terrain Telescopic 
Lantra Abrasive Wheel Machines
NPTC Safe use of Pesticides
Rodenticides please call our Office to request advice on how to access on line training and Lantra assessment, if required.
NPTC Level 2 Award in the Transport of Animals by Road (Short Journeys)  – Cattle & Sheep are classed as one species. Although no training is required, those interested will receive information to prepare beforehand.  Qualification handbook 600/0306/6 states ”This qualification is aimed specifically at people transporting animals over 65Km and up to eight hours in duration, where the journey is in connection with an economic activity”.  COC Transport Animals by Road Schedule
The above qualification ties in with requirements for a business to apply for an Animal Transporter Authorisation for the above journeys, which is free of charge.  This Animal Health and Plant Agency application form needs to be completed and returned to the Welfare in Transport Team at Carlisle and can be obtained from UTASS, or by accessing the link above.
Thank you!
Grateful thanks for the team effort to make young people’s driver training possible and for helping young people achieve their vehicle driving ambitions.  In addition, the voluntary help from H & H Staff, community & UTASS Members is much appreciated, as well as from Middleton-in-Teesdale Mart for providing a venue for most of the Lantra Tractor Driving.