The equine students at Enniskillen Campus were involved in a busy day of mock interviews, chatting with prospective employers and being rewarded for their endeavours with the presentation of bursaries at the annual Careers Day on Wednesday last.

This year, they heard from the newly appointed Agriculture Minister, Edwin Poots, who praised the students, the dedication of staff and the wonderful facilities at the Campus.

The Minister said: “Northern Ireland’s equine industry is worth approximately £200million to the economy whilst sustaining 3,000 full-time jobs. CAFRE supports the equine industry through the provision of highly-skilled students, and today I had the opportunity to meet and speak to those who are the future of the industry.

“Careers day provides a fantastic opportunity for students to meet key stakeholders in the equine industry and avail of the support available through the bursary programme.

“I was highly impressed with the facilities available to the equine students here at Enniskillen Campus. The dedication of the college staff in developing and assisting the students to be the best in their field, promoting career opportunities within the sector and organising internships is outstanding.

“I wish all the students here at CAFRE, Enniskillen every success in their future career paths.”

The Minister congratulated Further and Higher Education students who had excelled in their various assignments. Following this a number of students were awarded Industry Internships with Coolmore Stud, Spy Coast Sport Horse Farm (Kentucky) and The Curragh Racecourse.

The students began their day with setting up trade stands, taking part in mock interviews with a range of employers before the official opening by the Chairman of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Siobhan Currie.

She told guests at the lunch that the equine programme at Enniskillen Campus enjoyed a worldwide reputation of which the Council was very proud.

She said the Campus provided a pathway for students to get a job anywhere in the world.

During a panel discussion which included the Minister and industry representatives, a range of topics were discussed. Those taking part included Brendan McArdle, Irish Field; Vera O'Callaghan, Bluegrass Feeds; Orla McGlynn, Veterinary Intern at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute; Chris Armstrong, Ballydoyle Racing; Christy Grassick, Coolmore Stud and Staff Corporal Leigh Preston, Household Cavalry.

During the afternoon a total of 21 bursaries were awarded.