MY name is Zara Troughton and I’m a first year National Diploma student studying Food Technology at CAFRE’s Loughry Campus.
Choosing an alternative route to A-level study was a huge leap of faith for me. After receiving some useful careers advice, I followed in the footsteps of several other students from Royal School Dungannon and embarked on what was to become an exciting educational journey.
The National Diploma suits my style of learning. I like ‘hands on’ practical activities and our course is geared towards this. It’s a mixture of lectures and practicals with continuous assessment as opposed to examinations
Because Loughry has such strong links with industry our class regularly visits food processing businesses. Many of the managers we encounter on our trips are Loughry graduates, which is quite reassuring!
The recent careers fair at Loughry Campus highlighted the variety of jobs available in today’s fast moving food industry. Our biggest manufacturing sector was well represented with exhibitors from Dunbia, Kerry Foods, Anglo Beef Processors, Genesis Breads, Northway Mushrooms, Linden Foods, McColgans, Lackpatrick, Moy Park and Glanbia all in attendance. We heard about the fantastic range of career prospects and graduate programmes available and discussed placement opportunities with potential employers.
Employability is a key feature of Loughry’s programmes. The practical skills developed across all courses from National Diploma to Honours Degree level, added to close links with the food industry, mean we Loughry students have a very high success rate when job hunting.
This summer I will undertake a 12 week paid work placement in this type of environment. There seems to be a real ‘buzz’ about this fast moving agri-food sector – and I want to be part of it!
There are 70,000 jobs in the Northern Ireland agri-food sector. I am planning fill the current need for managers with technical expertise. Could you be doing the same? Come along to Loughry’s Open Evening on Tuesday, April 17 and find out more. See www.cafre.ac.uk or follow DiscoverCAFRE on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.