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Rural skills on display at Kirkton & Auchtertyre

Published Tuesday, 5th June 2018 in Research news

Rural skills on display at Kirkton & Auchtertyre
Ewen Campbell, farm manager at Kirkton & Auchtertyre, and children at the Rural Skills Day

More than 60 secondary school pupils recently attended an enjoyable Rural Skills Day at SRUC’s Kirkton & Auchtertyre farms, near Crianlarich.

The event was organised by SRUC’s Hill & Mountain Research Centre in association with the Developing Young Workforce Initiative. The latter is a Scottish Government supported programme which aims to bridge the gap between education and employers by providing young people with the right education, training and experience to get into fulfilling jobs and careers.

SRUC research, education and consultancy staff joined colleagues from CENSIS (Centre for Sensors & Imaging Systems), Farming & Water Scotland, Farming For a Better Climate, Moredun Research Centre and SEPA (Scottish Environment Protection Agency) to highlight that there are a wide range of jobs available to them in rural areas which involve the application of different types of technology.

To this end, the pupils heard about running a rural tourism business, saw a range of equipment used to assess sheep performance, learned about livestock parasite life-cycles, were shown how to catch and identify insects, heard about how land managers are being encouraged to limit their impacts on the environment, and discussed different ways of collecting and assessing environmental information using sensors and other technology such as drones.

Davy Mccracken, Head of SRUC’s Hill & Mountain Research Centre, said: “The Developing the Young Workforce Initiative has identified that neither secondary school pupils nor their teachers realise how technical jobs in land-based industries have become. We were very happy to work with colleagues in DYW Perth & Kinross to put together this day and help the school pupils realise what skills and qualifications they would need if they were interested in pursuing any of the careers demonstrated here today.”

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