Posted 14 November 2014
We enjoy having young people in the company. They bring lots of new, modern skills that they can teach us. So we can learn from them as much as they can learn from us!”
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Jeff Sim, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, chats about work opportunities
More than 90 companies visited Harper Adams University on November 11 for the biggest careers and placement fair ever held on campus.
Representatives of each business set up their stalls in one of four locations hosting the event, which brings students face-to-face with the people they could work for and with during sandwich placement years or upon graduation.
Jeff Sim, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust’s Land Management Team Co-Ordinator, said: “We are here to find people to help us manage our estates.
“We are looking for placement students interested in practical conservation, getting a career managing a busy nature reserve and in gaining general habitat management experience. There are also opportunities to work in environmental education, doing things like pond dipping, mini beast hunts and wild play with children. It’s great to supplement our workforce with students who can help us manage our reserves.”
Amanda Taylor, Work Experience Coordinator at Blackpool Zoo, said: “We are looking mainly for placement students to work in one of our animal departments as a keeper for a year. They can also do research, keep a portfolio of all their work, and learn from visiting professionals such as our vets.
“We are happy for placement students to conduct research, because any research done with our animals is going to help us out, and enrich the lives of the animals. We want to encourage people to come and work in the animal sector. It’s a fantastic place to work – zoo keepers are really involved in all aspects of animal care: nutrition, welfare, enrichment, supporting conservation projects. We just want people to be more involved and know about what we do!”
Lucy Hood, a third year BSc Bioveterinary Science student at Harper Adams, returned to the campus to represent her placement employer, Devenish Nutrition.
“I’m based in Belfast for my placement and am currently working on Devenish’s poultry nutrition team. I work in the performance house where they run feed trials. I weigh birds and help with feed weighbacks. I also help with reviews in the office and work with Moy Park a couple of days a week on a poultry trial, so I’m out and about all the time.
“I chose this placement because I was interested in nutrition and I was also interested in poultry. I liked that they were a home-grown company. I am really enjoying it.”
Lauren Roberts, HR assistant at Village Bakery, Wrexham, was there to promote the company’s new placement scheme in conjunction with Harper Adams.
“We want graduates to come on board covering specifically the food aspects of the business, in the new product development and technical departments,” Lauren said. “They can work in different areas of the business for different lengths of time, according to the student’s interests.
“We are also getting a lot of interest from business students, so we have sales and marketing placements as well. Harper Adams is food and agricultural based, which is what we are looking for. We are a family business, which has been around since 1934 and we are growing – so we want to bring in new skills for the next generation to build up the business.”
Sian Pritchard, Managing Director at Kuhn Farm Machinery UK said: “We came because we are looking to fill the role of marketing assistant in the UK but we also have wider possibilities within the group – we have 5,500 people working for KUHN globally, so we are looking for candidates who might fit roles abroad.
“The placements are important because the students are doing real jobs and gaining skills for life after Harper Adams. Hopefully they are able to combine what they have learned in the two years prior to their placement with what we can offer to get a good grounding for their future career.
“ We enjoy having young people in the company. They bring lots of new, modern skills that they can teach us. So we can learn from them as much as they can learn from us!”
Eleanor Dixon, a third year BSc Food and Consumer Studies student on placement with Livesey Brothers, was keen to share her experiences with fellow students.
“We are the UK’s biggest grower of woodland mushrooms. We supply Sainsbury’s Waitrose Asda and Morrisons, as well as the wholesale market. My main role is recipe development, developing our Mushroom Meals website and the Mushroom Meals brand. I’m trying to put my own stamp on that at the moment - it’s a really good opportunity.
“It’s a small business so I get to see a lot of the business, and we work with some really big names in the industry so I get to work with some great people. I love it! I love how different it is, I love how much of the business I get to see and how many people I get to meet every day. And how every day is different.”