The Yorkshire Agricultural Society’s annual careers event for secondary school pupils (8 october 2013) has received the backing of HRH The Prince of Wales. A grant of £10,000 has been given by The Prince’s Countryside Fund to help the event expand, both in terms of student numbers and in the range of careers which are showcased.
Hazel Baker, Education Adviser for the Society said:
We are absolutely delighted with the news and this will enable us to grow the event to the next level. We want to inspire young people about the vast choice of careers they can follow. After all, you don’t have to be a farmer to work in a rural area – you can be a nurse, a bank manager, an agronomist, work in construction or the law, to mention just a few options.
We want to give young people good reasons live and work in rural areas, which not only provide them with a rewarding future but will also help retain local communities and keep them vibrant. We’re now working on approaching more schools and more businesses and in future the event will be called ‘Careers in Focus’ to reflect that growth.
Originally entitled “Countryside Careers,” the one day event was launched by the Society eight years ago to raise awareness of rurally based careers. It is free for schools and takes place each autumn at the Society’s headquarters at the Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate.
Around 1,000 students attend from schools across the region, taking part in workshops, and enjoying interactive demonstrations – for example a mock livestock auction, horse shoeing and animal show rings have featured in the past. Some 50 businesses take part each year as well as colleges who provide information on the various courses and apprenticeships available.
Mrs Baker said:
We need to reach young people before they choose their GCSE and A-level subjects. One of the key advantages of the event is that students can see the choices available, talk to someone already working in that career and then gather information about the courses they need to take.
We want to change perceptions of some schools and teachers that careers within the countryside aren’t just for the less academically able but are rewarding, challenging and a vital part of the economy.