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Business Owner at Hedon Salads - Tom Salmon

From the day Tom Salmon and his partner Tony Magistro launched Hedon Salads in 1993, they have shown their commitment to professional training - the company was the first UK horticultural business to achieve Investors in People just two years later.

Hedon Salads took on their first apprentices in 1995 and trained several dozen as well as offering NVQs before a difficult period around 2005 meant the company, which had become its own training centre, had to suspend training.

Farrier - Melanie Pannewitz

After five years, Malanie Pannewitz, 28, has completed her farriery apprenticeship. Now she is part of a close-knit community of farriers in Devon, and may become an Associate or a Fellow of the Worshipful Company of Farrier. Melanie has been interested in horses since she was a child. She didn’t do well at school but did a couple of stints at work experience with farriers and wrote lots of letters to find a place as an apprentice. 

Trainee Gardener - James English

Trainee Gardener James English decided he wanted to pursue a career in horticulture when he left secondary school. He knew that he’d like to continue studying towards some sort of qualification, but also wanted to get into the world of work as quickly as possible. Working with nature has always interested James. He explains: “Working outside and with plants makes me very happy and ties in perfectly with my overall fascination and love of nature.

Apprentice Forest Craftsperson - Carina Convery

Originally from Germany, Carina Convery moved to Scotland in 2006 to work as a land surveyor. Having always enjoyed working in the countryside she began some volunteering work with the Scottish Native Woods which was her step into a career in forestry.

“I started volunteering for the Scottish Native Woods and then became a Volunteer Project Officer with BTCV for 10 months, during this time I also did some voluntary work with the National Park and the British Trust for Ornithology.”

Engineering Apprentice - Ben Blanchard

For award-winning engineering apprentice Ben Blanchard taking machinery apart and putting it back together is something he’s always loved doing. Now he’s about to step up a gear after completing his apprenticeship. “I’ve been interested in machinery and engineering since I was young and was always taking things apart and putting them back together again,” says Ben.

“After school I went to work at Ripon Farm Services, a John Deere dealership near where I live, and went to Bishop Burton College on day release.

Apprentice Farrier - Lauren Carey

Lauren Carey has realised her childhood ambition of becoming a farrier having qualified in her chosen profession, and starting her own business. Lauren says there is far more to farriery than she imagined as a child: “I’ve learned far more about horses than I ever knew before, and I thought I knew a lot before I started.

“This isn’t just a horse job, it’s a people job too. You have to be dedicated because it’s hard graft. Sometimes it’s freezing or you’re being dragged across a muddy field by a lively pony. But that’s all in a day’s work…”

Farrier - Claire Simpson

23-year-old Farrier Claire Simpson from Elgin, Morayshire, Scotland, took her apprenticeship with her father, a highly-skilled farrier of more than 20 years. She has just completed her four-year NVQ Level 3 Advanced Modern Apprenticeship course, which is approved by the Farrier Registration Council, and has now boosted the family business.

“It’s strange having to call your dad your master but that’s how I had to refer to him when I was at college,” says Claire.

Farmers - Rhodri and Gethin Hughes

Brothers Rhodri and Gethin Hughes work on their farm near Aberystwyth and attended an Artificial Insemination (AI) course to learn more about fertility and artificial insemination.

Ensuring a cow is in calf depends on the timing of insemination. Since the window of inseminating cows is only eight to ten hours, having an on-farm trained person with the flexibility to match the cows’ cycle is very beneficial. Data shows that the mean calving interval of UKdairy herds is 427 days, mainly because of delayed re-breeding, which costs the industry around £146 per cow per year.

Agriculture Student - Milly White

Axminster’s Milly White is taking the bull by the horns by studying her Agricultural Apprenticeship at Kingston Maurward College in Dorchester.

Milly’s family runs a beef and sheep farm in Dalwood, so it made sense for her to start an Apprenticeship studying one day a week at Kingston Maurward College in Dorchester, and working the rest of the week at the family farm with her Dad.

Kennel Assistant - Hayley Griffiths

"I have always been a huge animal lover and knew that the animal care industry was for me" declares 18-year-old Apprentice Kennel Assistant Hayley Griffiths from Cheshire. Since childhood Hayley had always dreamt of a role in animal care and was inspired by visits to local children's farms and a love of horse riding. "I've never really thought about any other career as I find it easier to deal with animals than people. I'm a very hands-on person and can never see myself sitting at an office desk" she continues.