Murray Farm Care – From Class to Grass

Murray Farm Care – From Class to Grass

Until very recently, Murray Farmcare had not actively sought out young people when recruiting. Traditionally, vacancies were advertised, applicants were interviewed, and suitable candidates chosen in due course.  However, in early 2016, DYW Dumfries and Galloway set out to change this. Murray Farmcare has since seen increased engagement with local schools and an increase in awareness of and applications to its apprenticeships.

Established in 1975, Murray Farmcare has animal health at the heart of its business. Based in Dumfries and employing 47 people, the company offers a range of essential medicines for farming livestock, as well as a wide selection of products for identification, forage and grassland management, biosecurity, household hygiene and clothing, equipment, pet supplies and accessories.

Having discussed the idea with local high schools, DYW programme managers approached Murray Farmcare to ask if they’d be interested in hosting a visit for pupils from the local high school, Maxwelltown High. The aim of this visit was to give the young people more information about local business in their area, to give Murray Farmcare an opportunity to meet the pupils, and to be able to establish a relationship between the employer and the high school. With DYW’s help, Murray Farmcare arranged a tour and a presentation of aspects of working in the animal care industry.

Feedback from the pupils who visited was very positive, and the following year, with the help of Step Up in Castle Douglas, Murray Farmcare advertised in local high schools for a new apprentice. Six applications were received from the local high schools, and such was the enthusiasm of the young people interviewed, that the company took two new apprentices.

Karen Cairns, head of Pharmacy and Admin at Murray Farmcare, said “Before DYW DG approached us, we didn’t have the confidence to consider employing a young person straight from school, as we didn’t know quite what to expect, or even where to start looking for the right young person. But with DYW’s help, it became a quick and easy process. DYW put in the time – they came to visit us, were always there with help and support, and their enthusiasm for the young people who came to visit us really shone through and helped us engage with them.

"Being supported through funding to employ apprentices has also proved useful, but without DYW’s initial approach to us, and the mentoring and training support of Step Up, we may never have found the two young people who joined us as apprentices last year.  Being helped by DYW and meeting with the young people from local high schools has definitely opened new doors for us. Regardless of what our apprentices decide to do after their year here, we’ll always know we’ve helped them on their journeys, and given them valuable work and life skills.”

For more information about how DYW can help your business engage with young people, contact info@dywdg.co.uk

Murray Farm Care

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WE ARE VERY PROUD TO WORK WITH:

At Forest Enterprise Scotland (FES), we are committed to advancing equality of opportunity. The partnership we have established with DWY DG will allow us to reach out to more young people, including young women. We want to highlight the variety of roles and careers in the industry and encourage young people to consider an apprenticeship with FES as a pathway into a career in forestry, and DYW DG are important and valued partners in this process.

Ashley Woodhouse, Forest Enterprise Scotland

Before DYW approached us, we didn’t have the confidence to consider employing a young person straight from school. We didn’t know quite what to expect, or even where to start looking for the right young person. But with DYW’s help, it became a quick and easy process. DYW put in the time – they came to visit us, were always there with help and support, and their enthusiasm for the young people who came to visit us really shone through and helped us engage with them.

Murray Farm Care

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The feedback from the pupils was fantastic and we were over the moon with how our first site visit went  – it was so exciting to hear how enthusiastic the young people were about a future career with the industry and how our different team members had inspired them to look at certain roles that they hadn’t necessarily thought about before.

Emma Porteous, Marketing Manager, Robinsons, Lockerbie

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Working in partnership with DYW DG, we have had great success in targeting potential future candidates in areas to suit our operational activities within Dumfries and Galloway. Since our involvement with DYW D&G, we have successfully recruited 11 trainees within Dumfries Galloway over the last 18 months and discussed our various training programmes with around 2,500 of our young people at a number of events.

Kenny Bowie, Head of Planning and Design, SPEN, Dumfries.

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When recruiting our new trainees, DYW DG's input and co-ordination between agencies helped invaluably in guiding us through what assistance was available and the processes therein. We would certainly use DYW’s contacts and again, especially accessing young talent.

Susan Sutherland, Crichton Executive Officer