Over the years Lockhart Garratt has committed to supporting the education sector and encouraging the development of our future Ecologists, Foresters, Landscape Architects and Arboricultural Consultants.
Support provided includes the sponsorship of multiple annual education awards, work experience and student placements, talking at education events and attending careers fairs. Stephen Westmore is also Chair of the Arboricultural Association Education and Training Committee.
This year our staff have attended many careers fair, providing advice and guidance on adopting a career in the environmental sector and below provides some further information on their experiences.
Myerscough College Arbor Day and Careers Fair
Steve Westmore attended Myerscough College’s first ever Arbor Day on 6th February. The event was specifically to raise awareness of the importance of trees and their contribution to the environment and society and followed the event structure being delivered across the globe.
Steve not only had the opportunity to host a stand within the main College’s careers fair and talk to students of varying levels of study about the varying careers that Lockhart Garratt offer, but also present to arboriculture students about his career journey. Having previously studied at Myerscough College Steve was delighted to have the opportunity to inspire future generations to pursue a career in arboriculture. His talk focused on some of the complications he found entering the industry and how he overcame them, the next steps for his career and finished with a Q&A session that incorporated all the other speakers from the afternoon sessions. The Q&A enabled students to ask any questions they had about the industry without prejudice or fear of judgement and seemed to be well received by the attendees.
West Oxfordshire Learning Partnership Careers Fair 2020
On Wednesday 29th January Steve Westmore and Rachel Jackson from our Arboriculture and Ecology teams attended the West Oxfordshire Learning Partnership Careers Fair, an event organised by a collaboration between eight schools and colleges in the West Oxfordshire area.
The event was aimed at students ranging from year 9 and 10 looking for work experience, to students close to finishing their education and considering their next steps. The event gave students the opportunity to speak to representatives from local, national and international businesses in order to get an idea of the types of careers available, as well as gaining lots of other useful information and contacts. Over 70 employers and institutions attended, providing information, advice and guidance to students about their career options. Companies present ranged from armed forces, construction, aviation, health care and many more.
This event provided Steve and Rachel with a great opportunity to represent the careers available in the environmental sector and explain the value of such professions. Many students were provided with advice on how to start a career in the environment sector and several expressed interest in obtaining work experience with Lockhart Garratt. General feedback from students and parents was very positive, with many stating that this sector is often under-represented at these types of events.
Chipping Norton School Human Library Event
On Friday 7th February Sophie Lockhart and Elliot Williams from our Landscape and Ecology teams attended Chipping Norton School’s Human Library event. The event was aimed at year 9’s and provided students with an opportunity to meet and chat with industry professionals about what skills and/or qualifications they may need to pursue their chosen career and to introduce them to a diverse range of potential careers.
Students were tasked with trying to figure out the occupation of each professional through a series of questions ranging from what is the favourite part of your job to potential progression and key skills/qualifications to pursue a career in the field. To help the students, professionals were asked to bring along a number of key items to help illustrate their occupation.
Both Elliot and Sophie thoroughly enjoyed the event, seeing it as a great opportunity to introduce students to a wide range of potential careers and most importantly for us the potential and value of a career in the environmental sector. The event provided a wonderful and valuable opportunity for young students to both engage with, and question professionals about their chosen careers.
Elliot reflects on his experience of the event:
I attended Chipping Norton School’s Human Library event on 7th February 2020 to give year 9 pupils an idea of what it is like to be an ecological consultant. The event consisted of small groups of pupils spending five minutes at a time with different people working in a wide range of professions. Each group of pupils were provided with a series of questions to ask each worker in order to figure out which profession they were in. Each worker was asked to bring with them some items they frequently use in their jobs to provide further clues to pupils. In my case these items included maps, survey equipment and I.D. guides. After working out what my profession was, pupils were given the chance to ask any number of questions they wanted to about what was involved with being an ecological consultant.
I found the event immensely enjoyable as it was clear that a number of pupils took an interest not only in my work but in ecology as a whole. Very few pupils were even aware that my job role existed before the event and I hope that those who showed a keen interest in ecology realised that their career can be related to their hobbies and passions. The event also allowed me to reflect on how lucky I am to be working within a subject that I am passionate about outside of work, and on how I have reached this point from when I was in year 9.