Students’ thoughts focused on jobs and careers

WELCOME: Paul Mooney, Head of Horticulture at CAFRE, welcomed Laura Lukosiute and William Moore from Sap Landscapes to the horticulture careers forum. Looking on is Foundation Degree student Kellie Harris along with Sarah Campbell and Tiernan Kelly who are on the extended Diploma in Horticulture.

PAUL Mooney, Head of Horticulture at CAFRE, Greenmount Campus, County Antrim, informed around 300 students attending horticulture programmes that

there are genuine opportunities in horticulture.

“I am confident that there are great opportunities for able, enthusiastic, qualified people with saleable horticultural knowledge and skills and most especially for those who are willing to move to the work,” said Paul.

Horticulture is an industry which is worth over £10 billion to the economy and employs one third of a million people. In NI the industry is worth about £160million and employs 8,000-10,000 people. The overall economic impact of the industry is far higher than this. In October 2018, Oxford Economics calculated that the landscape and ornamental side of horticulture alone had a £24 billion impact on the UK economy.

Paul urged students to work hard to make professional contacts and to join professional bodies such as the Chartered Institute of Horticulture.

The first industry speaker at the forum was Michelle Folliard, from Acheson and Glover, who outlined the many opportunities in creating ‘the outdoor room’ with the company. Next, William Moore from Sap Landscapes, ROI, gave a brief resume of his career to date and the wide range of career paths that the landscape and nursery business can offer young horticulturists.

For those who wished to progress their academic studies Katie Price and John Collum from Writttle University College in GB then outlined the progression opportunities to Honours Degree.

Afterwards, students visited many industry stands, which included employers genuinely looking to recruit people, companies offering placement services and organisations promoting additional education training and volunteering opportunities. Once again there were more jobs and opportunities potentially on offer than students to take up the places.

n About 300 horticulture students, both full and part-time, study at CAFRE on courses from Level 2 and Level 3 to Foundation degree L4 and Level 5.

n Greenmount Campus, Antrim, Open Day for prospective students will take place on Wednesday, April 3, 3-8pm.


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