By Peter Verhoeven,
THE College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) is well known for its campus in Antrim, which delivers agriculture and land-based courses. Greenmount campus offers students leaving school with GCSE qualifications the opportunity to follow a career in the land-based engineering sector.
Students with the desire to work with agriculture machinery can apply to study on the two year City and Guilds Level 3 Advanced Technical Extended Diploma in Land-based Engineering.
One question frequently asked by both parents and school leavers is ‘What career options are available after studying on the Level 3 Land-Based Engineering course?’
The Level 3 programme is a two year course which integrates work experience and on successful completion is equivalent to three A-Levels.
Therefore students completing the course have the option of progressing on to higher education such as a Foundation Degree or Honours Degree in Agricultural Engineering.
Completing a degree in Agri-cultural Engineering provides car-
eer opportunities in areas of design, testing and development engineering, among many other career paths such as technical training, sales, marketing and management.
Some Northern Ireland machinery manufacturers employ such grad-uates or there is always the option to travel further afield.
With an A-Level equivalent qualification graduates may wish to diversify and continue their higher level studies in Agriculture or Horticulture; two industries heavily reliant on machinery and automotive applications.
Opportunities to study on Honours and Foundation Degree courses exist within CAFRE.
Level 3 course graduates may opt to enter full-time employment as a land-based service engineer.
Graduates who choose a career with a franchised machinery dealer may have to undertake specific training with the manufacturer to get up to speed with their products. Franchised manufacturers may stipulate staff take part in the Land-based Engineering Training Accreditation (LTA) scheme, which is recognised by Institute of Agricultural Engineers and Agricultural Engineers Association. The scheme is in place to support Continuous Personal Development (CPD) and to ensure integrity of all staff in the land-based sector.
Many graduates find employment with smaller business or manu-facturers who organise their own in house training programmes. A number of graduates with land-based machinery experience have branched out and are now running their own successful engineering businesses.
The completion of a Level 3 qualification in Land-based Eng-ineering is only the beginning; opening doors to opportunities in higher education or successful careers in the engineering sector.
n If you would like to find out about the Level 3 Land-based Engineering course offered at CAFRE, Greenmount campus, you can join live on Facebook page – Discover CAFRE on Thursday, October 7, at 8.15pm and hear from staff, students and graduates.
Alternatively visit course pages on www.cafre.ac.uk for more information or to get in touch to organise a tour of the Land-based Engineering facilities. You can now apply online (www.cafre.ac.uk) for
the Level 3 course starting in September 2022.