Tractor visit cultivates interest in farming careers
Published on 13/02/17
Students have come face to face with the modern world of farming at Hethersett Academy.
An innovative project aimed at inspiring young minds to consider high-tech careers in agriculture saw experts from Easton and Otley College and the New Anglia LEP visit the school on Friday, January 27 2017.
They brought a dynamometer - an instrument that measures the power output of an engine - and a state-of-the-art tractor with them, to give 11- to 16-year-olds a hands-on experience of what they could expect if they were to pursue a career in farming.
One of the students taking part was Amy Grimes. She said: “I learnt about the tractor and how the dynamometer works. I don’t have a farming background but this is a career that interests me and the session made me want to get into it even more.”
Assistant principal at Hethersett Academy, Claire Tilbury, said: “Whilst this event is all about farming, there is a bigger picture at play. We are keen to provide our students with a high level of understanding in relation to the county and the wider labour market.
"We are delighted to be working with Christina Sadler, our enterprise adviser, who is helping the academy staff to develop better links with a wide range of local businesses.
“We need to provide impartial careers advice and challenge gender stereotypes in a range of industries. The overall idea of the project is to provide our students (and others studying in Norfolk) with inspirational business encounters that are challenging, engaging, and enjoyable that will help them build links with industry.”
The visit sprung from an ‘enterprise for all project’ that was developed by Lord Young and the whole scheme is being supported by The National Careers and Enterprise Company, Norfolk and Suffolk County Councils, and NALEP.
Hannah Colledge, New Anglia enterprise co-ordinator, said: “The aim of this is to connect business leaders with senior leaders in schools so that this relationship can help motivate and inspire young people to improve their work prospects. We are looking for more volunteers like Christina Sadler to partner with schools and colleges. It is very rewarding role helping young people understand the exciting opportunities open to them.”
Dani Chatten helped oversee this session with her colleague, agricultural engineering lecturer Nick Armstrong. Dani, a schools engagement co-ordinator at Easton and Otley, said: “As a college we are very keen to reach out and make farming accessible and this is why we are delighted to be involved in this project. This was the first school visit of many.
“Careers in this industry are changing all the time and the technology that is coming into agriculture will need a mixture of talents to help drive the industry forward. We work with many schools in the region on a variety of different issues and it was a pleasure to be involved in this exciting project.”