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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.

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.