The first major employer event for Land & Environment was staged at Shuttleworth College to enable young people to hear about careers in agricultural industries.
Companies specialising in fisheries to farming, seed development to John Deere equipment maintenance, tree growing to arboriculture management, introduced young people to worthwhile jobs.
Head of Land and Environment studies Shane Durham, and Work Experience Co-ordinator John Sirett initiated the project which will be followed by others in 2023.
Said Shane: “We’re very grateful to all these employers for taking the time to come and talk to our students about opportunities within their organisations. There is a huge range of employment opportunities under the banner of agriculture and they are open to people who do not come from traditional farming backgrounds.”
John, who completed his degree in Agricultural Science at Shuttleworth College as a mature student this summer, added: “Covid has broken some of the more informal routes into employment in the land-based sector. These companies are looking for committed young people to join them.”
John’s previous experience in a range of rural-related businesses means he is ideally placed to understand what employers are looking for in potential recruits.
A good example at the event was former Shuttleworth College student Jenson May, who now works for KWS, a German-founded global company specialising in creating new varieties of cereal through seed breeding. Established in the 1800s, the company now employs the latest science to generate disease-free plants which give farmers improved yields.
Farmer Andrew Phillips of Haynes was looking for help at harvest with a view to offering more permanent employment to the right candidate.
Tuckwells, at Maulden, amongst other places, are the largest supplies of John Deere equipment for miles. This covers not just traditional farming tractors, but grass cutting equipment for golf courses and more. John Deere are going down the “electrical” route with technology now being used in Formula 1 cars.
John O’Conner has grown from a one-man businesses to a major outfit of arborists based at Barton. Meanwhile Deepdale Trees near Potton is a company that grows trees which are sold to estates and major developers.
Embryo is famous in the field of fishing. The company dug and now stocks fish nurseries on the Shuttleworth College site. These are managed by students to help preserve older breeds of fish which are disappearing in the wild.
Huntingdonshire District Council discussed countryside management in country parks with students, while Agrii gave presentations focused on agronomy and crop development.
Agricultural biosecurity services were represented by Livetec Systems, a local company consulting to farmers and animal managers with the aim of minimising infection risks.