10 November 2014
A unique collaboration between the HighGround charity and Plumpton College is proving a huge success.
The London-based charity is developing an initiative for Service Leavers, Reservists and Veterans to help them discover employment opportunities in the land-based sector where their military skills and experience match up perfectly.
HighGround's second pilot Rural Insight Week at Plumpton College ended on 31st October and has proved invaluable experience for everyone involved.
Des Lambert, the College Principal said, “We are very proud to be working with HighGround and helping them develop their programme. The participants so far have been keen and enthusiastic and hopefully we have been able to give an insight into the wide range of land-based opportunities for which the college teaches. The land-based world is a diverse one, with many opportunities in addition to production agriculture. We hope this will be a long association with HighGround and, ironically, we are fulfilling one of the objectives which the College was set up for in 1919, following the First World War, which was to train personnel leaving the Armed Forces for a career in the land-based industries”.
Dr Zoe Morrison of Aberdeen University is conducting an independent evaluation of the pilot weeks and once this has been published and funding secured, HighGround will roll out the Rural Insight Week programne UK-wide in 2015.
Anna Baker Cresswell, founder of HighGround, said, “I am thrilled that there has been such enthusiasm among serving personnel and veterans for HighGround's land-based careers service. People who join our Country's Armed Forces enjoy being outdoors and thanks to Plumpton College's huge support and enthusiasm for HighGround's plans, we have been able to use the pilot weeks to work out how best to structure and evaluate what we are offering to these unique and very special people."
To find out more about how you can get involved: www.highground-uk.org
Since the original 400-acre College farm was bought back in 1919, Plumpton College has certainly seen a lot of changes.