As part of the Pre-Apprenticeship Programme, the students get a day out to the Royal Highland Show. Tarff and Borders Machinery Ring (BMR) grouped together and arranged a number of stand visits for the Pre-Apprentices. There was 12 students altogether, 8 Tarff and 4 BMR.
On Friday 21st June, the students arrived at the showground and rendezvoused at the Scottish Machinery Ring Association stand. The first stand visit of the day was Case IH where the students were shown around the machinery. Ross Macdonald, Case IH Product Marketing, spoke to the students about what his role entails and discussed the various machines on the stand. Before moving onto the second stand visit, the students had a guess at how much the combine harvester cost… these guesstimates were varying!
Next up, the students visited Norbrook where Mark Riddell spoke to the students about various animal health products. Mark explained what might happen to animals over the summer period and discussed what the farmer might do to help prevent animals from being struck and what products might be used.
Following the two morning visits, the Pre-Apprentices had free time to wander about the show.
In the afternoon, the groups met up and went along to JFC Agri. Sue Taylor, National Sales Manager, spoke to the Pre-Apprentices about the business and explained how the products they sell are made from recycled materials – a very hot topic at the moment!
After a brisk walk to make our next appointment on time, we arrived at the LANTRA stand where the students got to try on VR goggles and experience a real life simulation of varying situations i.e aquaculture, feeding sheep, using a forest harvester etc. Kevin Patrick, Rural Skills Development Manager, congratulated the Pre-Apprentices for their success of getting onto the programme and discussed future training and qualifications once they’ve completed the Pre-Apprenticeship Programme.
The last visit of the day was to SoilEssentials where Ian Thomson showed the students GPS technology, drones and spoke about precision agriculture. This caught the eye of a lot of our Pre-Apprentices!
If that wasn’t enough for the students, the group was invited to attend a Job Farm talk where Fergus Ewing, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy, discussed the importance of bringing young people into the land-based industry. Following this, several youngsters spoke about their experience of apprenticeships and how they have learnt vocationally through the workplace.
Overall, it was a highly successful day and we’re extremely thankful to the stands who kindly hosted us!