Sixth Form students Joe, Libby, Tylor, Millie, Gurveer, Donna, Lilly-Mae, Ria, Megan, Lauren and Joshua develop their knowledge of land-based careers during an inspirational residential trip to an agricultural college in Dorset.
During the second week of the Easter Holidays we took eleven Year 12 students to Kingston Maurward College in Dorset for the Reframing Nature programme. This was an intensive three days where students participated in activities that gave them an insight into a variety of land-based careers.
On the first day Frances, the careers and industry lead at the college, met us when we arrived. Students were then give the opportunity to independently drive a tractor through a course. We also learned about animal care, were given the chance to hold a large snake and fed various creatures including turtles, rabbits, ducks and several reptiles.
Frances said: “Encouraging young, diverse talent to consider land-based careers is so important for the future of this industry, which is why we’re proud to be involved in this Reframing Nature pilot programme. To be able to provide students from urban backgrounds with an experience of the sector, and to shine a light on the sorts of careers available within it, is just brilliant and we hope initiatives like this inspire more people to consider a role within land-based industries in the future.”
On the second day we visited a dairy farm and worked closely with Chris Truscott, a franchisee of McDonald’s within Dorset. At the farm we were able to learn about the various stages of the milk industry, from the initial milking process to getting the finished product into McDonald’s restaurants. Later we were able to meet the cows which was really enjoyable.
Chris gave the students a valuable insight into the hundreds of career opportunities that McDonald’s offer including degree apprenticeship programmes within the farming industry. He said: “The more young people we can engage in these careers, whatever their background, the stronger our industry will be in future – from farm to front counter.”
We also had the chance to speak with apprentices already enrolled on these courses.
On the final day each student had a tailored one-to-one career meeting with a member of staff at the college. This gave the students valuable information about the careers they would like to pursue, whether that be a medical, academic or apprenticeship route.
Student Milile said about the experience: “I’ve really enjoyed the past few days, learning more about the wide range of roles within the food and farming industry… Coming from a town in the Midlands, being out on farm and getting a behind the scenes look at a supply chain has been amazing. I’d say it’s opened my eyes to other careers I wouldn’t necessarily have thought of, too.”
We are so proud of how the students conducted themselves during this trip: they really were a true asset to St Thomas More Catholic School.