Doors open to Countryside Careers in South of England

rsz_jade_cooper_merrist_woodOver 400 young people, aged 13-18, visited the South of England Agricultural Showground in Ardingly on 16th October to discover the range of possibilities for developing careers in the countryside.

Countryside Careers Day showcased the wealth of career paths young people can follow in rural England, from forestry to food technology, retail to animal rearing and viticulture to veterinary.

Representatives from businesses and colleges from across the seven counties of the South of England were on hand to give practical demonstrations, support and advice on how to get qualified and get a job in the many and varied rural professions available to young people.

“Today has been a huge success and something we want to build and build, to allow young people from all walks of life to discover the different routes to having a successful and fulfilling career in the countryside,” said Derek Cleaver, Chair of the South of England Agricultural Society’s Education Committee, who organised the day.

The agricultural industry will need 60,000 recruits over the next ten years and the food & farming sector employs 3.5 million people in the UK, with agricultural courses having the highest rates of graduate employment with highly competitive average starting salaries.

The Society is passionate about promoting knowledge and understanding in the countryside and one of the main aims of the event was to blow away some of the myths that exist about countryside careers and to encourage motivated and talented people to consider one of the many options available in the industry today.

Continued Derek Cleaver, “Whilst practical farming is one form of rural career, we want to help young people discover that there are a vast range of job opportunities, from white collar to overalls, requiring a similarly wide-reaching range of skills and personal qualities, out there – and indeed there is a career path waiting for every young person here who wishes to discover it.”

The showground was split into four special zones comprising of a food, technology and retail zone; agriculture, horticulture, viticulture, livestock, equestrian & veterinary zone; woodland, countryside, sustainability and land-based technology zone; and a large information zone profiling all the colleges and training providers in the area.

“We want to thank all the volunteers who helped to make today a success and all the colleges and local businesses who put on such interesting displays and gave their time to advise and help the young people who came today,” said Derek Cleaver.

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