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"Forestry and Rural Skills were great for me. Then I had a work placement. That's when I knew I wanted to be a gamekeeper.
And now I am."
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Queensberry Initiative
Wallace Hall Academy
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Queensberry Estate

Rural Opportunities Day

In both June 2010 and June 2012 the Queensberry Initiative hosted Rural Opportunities Day at Wallace Hall Academy. These events were organised to give all pupils within our cluster access to the many career opportunities which are available to them within our region.. Over 80 different organisations and businesses came along on the day to share their experiences. Over 700 pupils from primary 5 upwards were given an insight into the many diverse careers which can be accessed in our region. Participants ranged from vets, tree surgeons, falconers, chefs, rural GP's, graphic artists, HGV mechanics, agricultural engineers, dentists, farmers and many more. Many of the displays were hands on and interactive allowing the students to have a real experience. A good example of this was our local vet practice who allowed our students access to specialised equipment and prepared x-rays of sick animals in advance. The pupils were then challenged to establish the cause of illness and examine one of the practice dogs.

Anne Marie Wood and Leanne Peoples, Project Officers with Queensberry Initiative, have built up many valuable contacts within the forestry, farming and renewable sector to name a few and have found that many of these individuals and organisations are willing to support us in many different ways. The forestry industry has an approximate average employee age of 50 and because of this is eager to encourage young people in to this sector. The Queensberry Initiative is striving to address these issues by introducing our pupils to our partner businesses and allowing them to explore the different employment opportunities available to them.

Barry Graham, Head Teacher: "Today's event is part of our long-term aim - to make our young people aware of the opportunities that exist in their area. Too many of our students believe that they must leave this area to get a good job or pursue their dreams. Today it was demonstrated that they are able to have both excellent career choices and a good quality of life in Dumfries and Galloway. "