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Excellent career prospects for CAFRE students - O'Neill

7 March, 2012 - by Michelle O'Neill

Over 93% of students attending the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) get jobs or go on to further education within six months of completing aCAFRE course.This was the message from Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Michelle O’Neill as she attended both the Focus on Food careers fair and the Food Bursary Awardsceremony at Loughry Campus today.

Speaking at the careers fair, which highlighted the variety of jobs available to graduates in today’s fast moving food industry, the Minister said:

“The local food and beverage industry plays a vital role in our economy in terms of sales and employment and I am encouraged to see so many exhibitors here today and taking the time to speak to Loughry food students about employment opportunities.”

During the careers fair, students had the opportunity to hear from industry experts about career prospects and graduate programmes and also to discuss placementopportunities with potential employers. The Minister commented on the college’s commitment to preparing students for employment, saying:

“The development of practical skills is of key importance across all of Loughry’s education programmes and this benefits the industry with students graduating who are well prepared for the world of work and who can hit the ground running.”

At the Food Bursary Awards ceremony, which took place after the careers fair, ten food students from Loughry’s higher education degree courses were presented with theindustry bursaries they secured, valued between £1,000 and £4,500. The Minister praised the companies and organisations who demonstrated their support for the students through awarding the generous bursaries, saying:

“These companies have shown their commitment to investing in the future development of the food industry by supporting students through their education programmes with financial assistance and offering work placement opportunities.”

Reflecting on the careers themed day at Loughry, and the importance of the ongoing links between the campus and industry, the Minister added:

“Industry attendance at today’s events and their ongoing support demonstrates the commitment to recruiting highly skilled and qualified staff for this dynamic sector and in the current economic climate it is very reassuring to know that students can continue their studies with the confidence that they have excellent opportunities to progress andsecure jobs in the food industry.”

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