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Dog Groomer - Claire Hyde

Claire Hyde from Blackwood in South Wales  had always dreamt of working with animals. With training, she has opened her dog grooming parlour and training school – “Classic Canine Cuts.” Claire has always loved animals - for 13 years she was a policewoman specialising in Animal Law.

Claire took the initiative to get qualified in dog grooming, and opened her grooming parlour in Blackwood.  The business won a New Business of the Year award from Caerphilly County Borough.

Golf Course Manager - Gordon McKie

Gordon began his apprenticeship in 1985 at Tain Golf Club in Ross-Shire. He completed a National Certificate in Greenkeeping at Elmwood College and was promoted to Deputy Head Greenkeeper at Tain that same year because of the quality of his work.

Head Groundsman - Eddie Seaward

The results of Eddie Seaward’s decades of experience are put under some of the most public scrutiny each summer - when literally millions of fans tune into the Wimbledon Championships. As Head Groundsman for the All England Lawn Tennis Club, he is ultimately responsible for the grass on Centre Court, and all the other courts at Wimbledon, which not only have to satisfy the world’s best grand slam players but also look good for the television cameras!

Florist - Neil Whittaker

Florist Neil Whittaker travels the world taking part in and judging international competitions. Neil was Interflora Florist of the Year 2007/8 and British Retail Florist Champion. He came second in the world floristry finals in Manila and is listed in The Independent On Sunday top ten florists.

Training in floristry is a key part of Neil Whittaker’s professional life – both as a teacher and a student. He believes his personal and business success is due to his willingness to push himself and keep learning new skills.

Environmental Education Consultant - Annabel Foskett

37-year-old environmental education consultant Annabel Foskett from North London enrolled with Hertfordshire University to study for a Masters in Environmental Management in 2010.

“In summer 2010 I was told about Lantra’s Women and Work programme and applied for it. It was great getting the grant because it has not only helped fund a small part of my degree but it also gave me great encouragement in actually going back to study” explains Annabel.

Farrier - Steve Hewitt

Award-winning Yorkshire farrier Steve Hewitt, of Thick Penny Forge at Moor Monkton near York, has spent more than half of his 20-year career training apprentices. In the last few years he has seen significant changes – not least a significant rise in the age of apprentices and substantially more female applicants. Steve’s work helps others gain a qualification they can use anywhere in the world as well as the opportunity to run their own business.

Food Safety Manager - Libby Spackman

Food Safety Manager Libby Spackman is passionate about horticultre. "I want to tell people there’s a lot more to horticulture than they realise, a lot more jobs, especially in this economic climate. Out of my peer group from university I’m earning the most money and I have a lot more options than other career routes." Libby’s career choice has already put her ahead of her university peers in terms of earnings and her work has helped her employers earn two prestigious awards. But Libby is still just 22 and only started working full time in summer 2009.

Fencer - Haydn Nelms

When it became obligatory for fencing contractors to qualify for Construction Skills Certification Scheme cards, Haydn Nelms and his four workers didn’t just do the minimum, but took NVQs in fencing instead. 

Haydn wants to spread the word about the importance of the NVQ qualification. In future he would like customers to specifically request qualified fencers. He says it would the improve quality of the workmanship and the level of public trust in the industry.

Agriculture Apprentice - Melissa Sinclair

Eighteen year old Melissa from West Lothian had been planning to undertake a full time course in animal care, but will now spend only two weeks this year at Oatridge College.  Thanks to a work-based learning programme, Melissa will be able to study a Modern Apprenticeship in Agriculture while gaining practical knowledge and skills at the city owned Pollok Country Park.  Melissa beat off competition from eight other applicants, all female, to get this position.

Equine Barefoot Trimmer - Hannah Wharton

Being a trainee in a new and misunderstood field can be difficult, admits 30-year-old Hannah Wharton, who is learning to become an equine barefoot trimmer and aims to qualify in two years’ time. “I’ve always ridden and looked after horses,” says Hannah, “but it wasn’t until a year ago that I started to think about a natural hoof care approach.”

It was while on a natural horsemanship holiday in Malaga, Spain that Hannah saw barefoot trimmers at work on horses loose in the field and was inspired to research into it.

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