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 email@example.com