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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.

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.