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Taster Courses Aimed At Would-be Vets

12 years ago

15th February, 2012 15h18

Teachers and students in paddock Sixth formers who are interested in pursuing a career as a vet can get a taster of the real thing at a three-day course run on a working farm near Broadhembury in East Devon. Embryo Veterinary SchoolThe cost of training as a vet has risen dramatically, particularly in the last year, so any young person who is considering working in this competitive field needs to be sure that it is the right path for them. A weekend residential course is available locally to help them make their minds up and give advice on how successfully to apply for university. The course has been designed to give a practical understanding of what is needed to cut the mustard in the world of vet science. The Embryo Vets School (EVS) is now available at the newly opened Colliton Barton Training Centre, an on-farm teaching facility for people working in the agricultural sector and allied industries. As well as EVS, the centre hosts courses run by Stuart Young Vet Services, part of the Mount Veterinary Group, the Duchy College Rural Business School and the British Cattle Veterinary Association. Expert knowledge is given by the team of vets, farmers and students, who are there to explain entrance requirements, what a degree course entails, and what happens once a veterinary student has qualified. A mock application interview gives a taste of what is to come. Stuart Young, one of the vets who will be taking the course said: "Some younger people have a rose-tinted idea about becoming a vet. In reality it's extremely hard work, with long hours and difficult decisions to be made. Coming on a course like this is a fantastic opportunity to get an insight into what's really involved, from achieving a place at university to getting a true picture of life as a vet. We are able to offer hands-on experience with the main farm and domestic pet species." There are also opportunities to spend time in a working farm environment and gain practical experience with both living and dead animals. The farm has working dairy and poultry operations and the course also covers pigs, sheep, horses and dogs. Included in the course is dormitory-style accommodation, meals and refreshments, all necessary equipment such as stethoscopes and gloves and a written assessment. This provides students with a summary of their strengths and weaknesses. Adrian McArdle, who runs the centre with his wife Sally, said: "As working farmers ourselves we've been out there in the middle of the night when a vet is attending a cow having trouble calving. Having hosted a number of similar courses previously, I find it interesting to see just how focussed some of the sixth-formers are – and they definitely need to be if they're to follow this through as a career path." The next course runs from February 24 to 26, and full details may be found at Article first appeard on

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