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Groundsman - Keith Kent

Despite a career which has featured two of the world’s most famous sports grounds - Manchester United’s training pitches at Old Trafford and now Twickenham - Keith Kent says he is ‘still the same lad who left secondary school in Leicester to earn £8 a week as trainee groundsman at Leicester City Football Club in 1970’.

Animal Management Student - Bethany Casey

Bethany Casey, 25, from Haverhill in Suffolk, left work to follow her dream of working with animals and now is well on the way to making it a reality thanks to the Adult Learning Grant.

After a frustrating time at school, Bethany completed a one year beauty therapy course at West Suffolk College. Deciding salons were not really for her, she tried retail, factory, gardening and cleaning jobs none of which she found fulfilling.

Groundsman - Chris Lane

Chris Lane is one 19-year-old who doesn’t let the grass grow under his feet. He left an uninspiring retail job to help look after the turf of his footballing heroes. Energetic Chris is one of a small team of groundsmen tending the precious pitch for Wolverhampton Wanderers FC after netting a plum apprenticeship.

Chris, who lives in Wombourne, South Staffordshire, is a lifelong fan of the West Midlands soccer legends and said it was a “dream come true” to be working at the Molineux.

Florist - Gary Taylor

From working in a garden centre coffee shop to preparing flowers for an Alesha Dixon launch party, Gary Taylor’s career in floristry is blooming.“Five years ago I was working in coffee shops having had a spell working in hotel management,” says Florist Gary Taylor.“Luckily it was at the garden centre where I was serving coffees that I first got the chance to work with flowers and ever since then I’ve not looked back.”Gary realised floristry was the industry he wanted to work in and - through Hertfordshire-based training provider Keitts - he embarked on his

Director of Research and Development at Aquaponics UK - Becky Bainbridge

From Scotland via Wakefield to Africa… Aquaponics can make a huge difference to many people’s lives, in Africa providing a sustainable source of food, while in the UK it could be a potential growth area for jobs.  Twenty-four-year-old Becky Bainbridge is a great advocate for aquaponics and one of our former Scottish Land-based Learners of the Year - a competition that we run to celebrate the skills of those working in the land-based and environmental industries.

Fisheries Teacher - Fred Lockhart

Fred Lockhart, a Fisheries Teacher, developed a keen interest in fishing at an early age; his grandfather often took him fishing at week-ends and during the summer holidays. Fred first joined an angling club at the age of 10 years and is currently a member of the Professional Angling Guide and Instructors Network (PAGIN).

Fish Biologist - Debbie Parke

On leaving school Debbie Parke decided to pursue a course in child care. However, it wasn’t long before she realised she had made the wrong choice. Unsure of her next steps, she came across information about the HND course in Farm and Fishery Management offered by Barony College. From there her career has roller coastered. “When I began studying at Barony College I was the only girl in a class of 14.  My lecturer, Don Patterson really encouraged me during this time, making me believe in myself and my capabilities. I successfully gained a merit award on completion of this course.”

Fish Farmer - Shane Kenny

Even the smallest mistake can cost many thousands of pounds when you’re looking after 350,000 trout on a fish farm. This is why the right training is so important in the aquaculture industry, and especially for Dawnfresh, the single largest producer and processor of trout in the UK. Twenty-one-year-old Shane Kenny is a perfect example of how the right training, hard work and motivation can transform a newcomer into an invaluable member of staff on a fish farm like those run by Dawnfresh at Loch Etive on the west coast of Scotland.

Arborist - Mike Crawshaw

For an Arborist, aiming high is an obvious part of the job but with Mike Crawshaw it is more of an ethos, which has helped him achieve goals in spite of losing his right leg to cancer. Aged 17 Mike had his right leg amputated after discovering he had bone cancer.

“I was always very active and after the operation and treatment for my illness I decided I wasn’t going to let it get in the way of doing the things I loved. In fact it made me more determined to lead an active life.”

Mike learned to climb as an amputee and while working in IT joined a local climbing club.

Assistant Harvesting Manager - Euan Christie

As far back as he can remember Euan Christie has been involved in forestry. His father worked as a head forester on an estate, and Euan spent many week-ends and holidays working alongside his father. Confident that this was the career for him, Euan attended Inverness College where he completed a Higher National Certificate, followed by a Higher National Diploma in forestry, which included a placement year. 

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