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New college partnership is a boost for veterinary and animal care careers

Furness College has teamed up with Myerscough College in an innovative new project to boost careers in veterinary nursing and animal care across South Cumbria.

Students will be able to learn the theory of animal care and animal management at the Channelside campus with practical experience at the state-of-the-art facilities at Myerscough. They will travel to the specialist land-based education provider, just outside Preston, one day a week on a bus with travel paid for by college.

Announcing the new partnership, Furness College Principal and Chief Executive Andrew Wren said he hopes it will enable more students from the Furness peninsula to access specialist courses.

“We know that there are young people across Cumbria who want to continue the county’s rich tradition of agricultural expertise and animal care,” he said. “Through this new partnership they will get the best of both worlds, a qualification from one of the best regarded land-based colleges with the convenience of studying in Barrow.”

The courses, which will be offered from September 2020, are the City & Guilds Level 2 Technical Certificate in Animal Care and the Level 3 Technical Certificate in Animal Management. They will also offer Equine Studies and Horse Care at Level 2 for anyone interested in equestrian careers.

There will be two days classroom learning at the Channelside campus and the chance to do field work and work experience in Furness and the South Lakes.

Furness College science tutor Jenny Holden-Wilde, who will be teaching the programme, has a background in zoology and ecology. Alongside running her own small-holding, she has worked on international animal research projects and has previously worked as a zoo keeper and in conservation project management and wildlife monitoring.

“These qualifications are perfect for young people who want to pursue a career in the wide-ranging animal sector,” she said. “They will learn about animal health and welfare, behaviour, genetics and conservation.

"It can lead into careers in animal rehabilitation, behaviour, nutrition, zoo-based careers, pet grooming, animal trainer, animal charities sector, boarding kennels/cattery management -there are many careers with animals that people often don’t think of,” she said.

“The other benefit is that once they have gained their Level 3 qualification, students can also progress into Myerscough’s foundation degree in veterinary nursing or degrees including zoology, animal behaviour and welfare as well as equine science and management.”

Jenny said alongside animal care they were also looking at future partnerships in countryside and agriculture courses.

“The facilities at Myerscough are first class and the animals are kept in spotless conditions; that’s why we have chosen them to partner with: you won’t find better anywhere else in the UK,” she said. “Alongside the more usual domestic pets and farm livestock species, they have everything from reptiles to an aquarium to a dedicated rodent room. They even have a dog rehabilitation hydrotherapy pool.”

Myerscough College Vice Principal and Deputy Chief Executive Steven Downham-Clarke said the college was excited to be partnering with Furness College and welcomed the opportunity to deliver a new curriculum to students in South Cumbria.

“In recent years we have invested heavily in state-of-the-art facilities, including a £3 million Animal Studies Centre, tripling the size of the former building, in addition to a sector-leading, custom built, Veterinary Nursing Centre, both at our main Preston campus,” he said.

“Britain is well regarded as a nation of animal lovers, resulting in the development of a multi-million pound industry in the UK, and countless career opportunities. We look forward to the first cohort of learners beginning their study programmes.”

To find out more about the courses click here: https://www.furness.ac.uk/land-based-courses/

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