Alford Academy hosted an employer-led Land-Based Careers morning for S1 pupils arranged and facilitated by Countryside Learning Scotland. The aims of the event were to introduce pupils to the diversity of rural careers, at all levels by hearing from those who work in rural industries. S1 pupils were split into four groups and they rotated around the different employers for 8 minute interactive inputs.
A Nature Reserve Officer from Nature Scot who works at Forvie Nature Reserve talked about the geography of the reserve and the different elements of his role which he split into three broad categories; 1. Maintaining the fabric of the reserve. 2. A Field Biologist / scientist recording and identifying the wildlife and 3. Protecting the nesting birds from predators through electric fences. He allowed the pupils to handle and ask questions about the vital equipment he uses day to day to carry out his job.
Scotland’s Regional Moorland Groups are a collection of sporting estates from across the six regions of Scotland. Grampian Moorland Group brought along a gamekeeper who talked about all the different activities he is involved in day to day and how he had been inspired to follow a Land-Based career. Grampian Moorland Group discussed the variety of careers available within the rural estates. This included conservation of rare heather moorland and the wildlife which lives there.Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) went through some of the 61 courses they currently offer from Agriculture, Environmental Conservation, Animal Nursing, Equine Studies to many more. SRUC offer Modern Apprenticeships where the courses are between 12-24 months and are assessed through on-the-job activities rather than sitting exams. The pupils were able to see and hear about real life equipment that is used in Equine Studies course.
James Jones & Sons Ltd explained the process of growing and harvesting trees. They discussed what careers were available from tree planting, building Fencing, building forest roads, architects, engineers, truck drivers and the apprenticeship opportunities. They talked to pupils about the environmental importance their forests play in capturing carbon.
The S1 pupils thoroughly enjoyed the event and got a lot from being able to handle equipment and engage with people who currently work in Land – Based jobs. Alford Academy would like to thank Countryside Learning Scotland, Nature Scot, Grampian Moorland Group, Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) and James Jones & Sons Ltd for being part of this really invaluable opportunity for S1s to learn more about the rural careers landscape.