Rural Skills Employability Award

In our Rural skills Employability Award we get split into pairs and go to Novar Estate, Ardross Castle, Forestry and the School Garden for our weekly work experience Placements. We are on these placements for 6 weeks each and do different things at each Placement.

At Ardross Castle we work with the horses, with Sue and her colleague. When we arrived we got changed before being allocated a horse to groom and muck out their stalls. Each Thursday morning me and Meghan walk up a massive hill to lead the horses to their field which would tire us out. Once we were finished mucking out the stalls each week, we would groom the rest of the stabled horses, take apart a bridal, clean it and then put it together again. Before leaving the stables we would take the rest of the stabled horses out to the fields before going back to school. Being with the horses we needed to be careful on what we did around them. For instance walking in front of them rather than behind, as they can easily lash out and also that some of the horses are unpredictable and so we needed to be aware at all times.

With Forestry a man called Davie Mackay took myself and Meghan to Tain Hill where we cut back some Gorse bushes from the path and we used a Pruning saw. We also had to help Davie and his colleague Fraser to cut down branches and at a walk in Ardross we had stop a man from turning up the pathway on the walk with his Quad bike. Meghan used a winch to drag an 8 tonne rock into the ditch on top of the branches to make sure he could not get back in.

Being on these placements has taught me the safety regulations  which we need to follow to protect ourselves but also the other people who are working a long side me. Safety is important on this placement as we are working with sharp and dangerous tools and also in quite dangerous surroundings.

Being organised is important in any work placement but when we are in Ardross we need to have our boiler suits and our steel toe cap boots to protect our clothes but also our feet. In Forestry we need to be organised with our boiler suits, steel toe cap boots, warm clothing and our water proofs because no matter the weather we need to get the jobs done and so we need to be kept dry and warm.

In Rural Skills we have also been to a Fish Farm in Contin where we milting and fertilising the fish eggs. We had also went to a deer larder in Tain where we watched the Forestry Commission process the deer and learned all about deer management.

-Rebekah Everett

Forestry 1Forestry 4 Forestry 3Forestry 2

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