ASHLEIGH IS GUNNING FOR SUCCESS

Countryside and wildlife management lecturer Ashleigh Miller-Kirkpatrick, who lectures at the University of Cumbria’s Northern School of Game and Wildlife, has just been named Lantra’s Women and Work Game and Wildlife Management Winner of the Year. Since 2006, the Women and Work programme has worked with over 1212 companies in England to support 3,250 women develop their skills and progress their careers in industries where women are under-represented. To celebrate the end of the 2010/2011 training programme, the nine top learners were recognised at the second annual Lantra Women and Work Awards, sponsored by VectorWorks Training, at Nailcote Hall, Warwickshire, on 30 March 2011. “Continuous professional development is important to me,” says Ashleigh, “so when the chance to gain more practical skills came along I jumped at it.” A colleague mentioned the Women and Work programme to me last year and so I looked into it and realised it could help me with my own continuous professional development. Ashleigh took Lantra Awards Wild Game Meat Hygiene, Lantra Awards Firearms Use Preliminary Safety for the rifle and Lantra Awards Firearms Use Preliminary Safety for the shotgun. The firearms training ensures those on the course leave with an understanding and ability to operate and use equipment as appropriate within a competent operating environment, in a manner that promotes and maintains the highest standards of safety. The wild game qualification contributes towards a national standard aimed at ensuring game meat entering the food chain is as safe as possible and shows a national standard of competence for those who have it. It was important to Ashleigh to select courses in an area she says is under represented by women. “At the back of my mind was the thought that if other women saw I was getting training in game and firearms then maybe they could have a go too. I wanted to show my students that an older married woman with two children under the age of 12 years could do these kinds of courses!” Another reason for expanding her countryside and wildlife management skills was Ashleigh’s recognition of the increasing diversity within the game and wildlife industry. She said: “The game and wildlife industry is becoming wider and more diverse in terms of technical skills and so doing these courses means I’m up to speed with what’s current and I’m therefore more able to support my learners.” However her learners will have to soak up knowledge from Ashleigh quickly because she and her family are all set to leave the Cumbrian countryside and start a new life down under in Australia. “My husband is an adventure and media lecturer at the university and has landed a new job in Australia. We all love our outdoors life and felt Australia would be a great place to continue that and somewhere we want our young boys to grow up.” Lyndsay Bird, Women and Work Programme Manager said, “This programme has been a great success during the past four years. Ashleigh is the epitome of what the Women and Work programme is about: women embracing skills that are generally regarded as male-only, and proving that their career can thrive with this training. She is a great example of how training can develop your skills and open great career opportunities, and her career seems to just be taking flight.” The Lantra Women and Work funding programme will commence in June 2011 (subject to contract). For more information and to register your interest visit www.lantra.co.uk/Women-and-Work. Follow Lantra on twitter at www.twitter.com/LantraSSC. ENDS ISSUED BY Lantra Press Office Samuel Zelmer-Jackson, PR Co-ordinator Tel: 02476 858 418 or email media@lantra.co.uk Follow Lantra on Twitter at www.twitter.com/LantraSSC CREDIT FOR PHOTO Ashleigh Miller-Kirkpatrick – Lantra’s Women and Work Game and Wildlife Management Award 2010/11 NOTES TO EDITOR About Women and Work • The Women and Work: Sector Pathways Initiative is about raising skills and unlocking potential. The project aims to raise recruitment levels in sectors where women are under-represented; increasing earning potential and aiding career progression. The initiative is in response to recommendations by the Women and Work Commission’s report ‘Shaping a Fairer Future’ and receives government funding, matched by employer contributions. • Women and Work funding is available to those working in agriculture, aquaculture, environmental conservation, farriery, fencing, fisheries management, game and wildlife, horticulture, landscaping and sports turf, production horticulture, land-based engineering and trees and timber. • For more information: www.lantra.co.uk/womenandwork/ About Lantra • Lantra is the Sector Skills Council for land-based and environmental industries, working to ensure these businesses access the training, qualifications, skills and knowledge they need. • Lantra represents 17 industries: agricultural livestock and crops; animal care; animal technology; aquaculture; environmental conservation; equine; farriery; fencing; fisheries management; floristry; game and wildlife management; land-based engineering; horticulture, landscaping and sports turf; production horticulture; trees and timber and veterinary activities. • By working together with the sector, Lantra leads research on skills issues and business needs, sets national standards and develops qualifications to meet modern business needs and help businesses grow through skills. • For more information see www.lantra.co.uk.

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