CAFRE food students receive financial support from industry partners

Date published: 22 March 2024

The College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) was delighted to host the 2024 Bursary and Scholarship Awards Ceremony for Food degree students at Loughry Campus on Wednesday 13 March 2024.

Hannah McClelland, a first-year student on the BSc (Hons) Degree in Food Business Management course at Loughry Campus was awarded with the Lakeland Dairies Bursary. Hannah was presented her award by Vicky Sinclair, HR Business Partner (Pritchitts site).

As part of CAFRE’s wider suite of student support services food students benefit greatly from close partnerships and generous financial support from Agri-Food businesses.

The 2024 Industry Support Programme at Loughry Campus awarded £26,500 to students studying on Ulster University validated Bachelor's Honours Degree courses at CAFRE’s Cookstown campus.

Thirteen companies presented awards to students which included ABP (Newry), Dale Farm, Danske Bank, Dunbia, Fane Valley, Henderson Group, Kerry (Omagh), Lakeland Dairies, Leprino Foods, Linden – ABP, Mackle Pet Foods, Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association and Tyrone Farming Society.

Eleven first year students studying food degree courses, received a combined total of £16,500 in bursary awards. Additionally, four second-year students were presented with a total of £10,000, resulting in a substantial overall financial contribution of £26,500 from CAFRE’s industry partners.

Martin McKendry, CAFRE Director, welcomed award winners, their family/friends and business representatives to the proceedings. He commended the thirteen sponsoring organisations for recognising the value of supporting new talent as they study for food industry qualifications at Loughry Campus.

Commenting on the event, Mr McKendry said: “The Bursary and Scholarship programme enables Agri-Food businesses to offer tangible support to CAFRE students. To ensure the continued success of the Northern Ireland Food Industry it is important that there is a continuous supply of professionally qualified and highly motivated entrants.

“Today we not only welcome the financial awards being presented to the first-year students, but the opportunity for our second-year students to connect with businesses through their work placement year as they receive Scholarship awards. At CAFRE we pride ourselves in training job-ready graduates and we hope today, as Award winners you will benefit from the opportunities our industry connections offer you.”

Mr McKendry welcomed Mackle Pet Foods as a new bursary provider for 2023-2024 year and thanked the many organisations who have been long standing supporters of the programme.

In recognising the industry support offered to Loughry Campus students, first year, Honours Degree student Kathryn McMullan thanked the business representatives for their contribution to the programme.

Kathryn commented: "Today, we express our thanks to the Agri-Food businesses supporting us with bursaries and scholarships. We also value the opportunities you provide for knowledge exchange throughout the year. Whether it's hosting us for factory tours, offering guest speakers, participating in Careers Fairs, conducting mock interviews, or engaging us in challenging projects, your input is truly valued.

“You contribute significantly to our growth as we aim to become effective leaders to drive change and adapt to industry challenges. I am proud to be a CAFRE student and eagerly anticipate following a career in the food industry, knowing it has so much to offer."

The food industry needs fresh talent with food qualifications to enhance innovation and promote sustainability. If you or someone you know thrives in a team environment, seeks a non-desk-bound career, enjoys practical problem-solving, values travel opportunities, and desires a challenging yet rewarding career with promising job prospects, consider studying at Loughry Campus.

The college offers full-time and part-time food courses from Level 2 Apprenticeships through to BSc (Honours) Degree courses. The Campus is hosting an Open Day on Tuesday 9th April, book to attend via the events section of the CAFRE website.

For further information on courses and how to apply for a course starting in September 2024 visit the CAFRE website.

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