Brecon Beacons National Park Authority has commended eight high school students for completing their work experience in the National Park last month.
The students, aged between 16-17, from Crickhowell, Brecon, Gwernyfed, Ysgol Glantaf and Pontypool Ysgol Gyfun Gwynllyw high schools have being working with National Park Wardens, Education officers and Ecologists to help maintain footpaths and the wildlife garden, construct beehive areas, undertake biodiversity surveys, as well as learning about planning policy processes and GIS mapping. The students have also completed the John Muir Discovery Award – an environmental award scheme that supports connections with and care for nature, landscape and the natural environment – marking the first awards delivered by National Park staff.
By working alongside National Park officers, the students have been able to meet work schedules, analyse data from surveys, and understand the nature and implications of working for a National Park. The new recruits were also able to develop the environmental awareness by learning environmentally friendly work practices whilst gaining invaluable on-site and hands one experience.
Francesca Bell, Education Officer at Brecon Beacons National Park Authority said: “In the National Park Authority we strive to provide valuable work experience for young people to help them find a way in to what is currently a very competitive job market. The work that these youngsters have already completed gives them a strong footing on the career ladder and we appreciate the fresh outlook they have given us in return.”
Judith Harvey, Warden Manager for Brecon Beacons National Park Authority said: “With the job market in its current state, it has never been more important for students to enhance their understanding of the work environment and to gather valuable experience. Some of our most experienced Area Managers and wardens at the National Park started their careers as student volunteers so it just goes to prove that these young adults are in good hands to receive expert guidance and better employment opportunities in their chosen career fields. We are hopeful that work experience projects like this will be a stepping stone in persuading our young adults to live and work in the Park, contributing to our communities’ economic development and cultural heritage.”
Martha Powell, who studies at Brecon High School said: “I wanted to do the work placement at the National Park Authority as it gave me the opportunity to work in the natural environment. Being able to do the John Muir Award at the same time was great and it will be good to add this to my CV.”
Phil Stubbington from the John Muir Trust said: “We have developed a strong working relationship with Brecon Beacons National Park Authority and value it very much. Working with the National Park provides students with an opportunity to learn new skills, experience real work situations and to undertake important environmental projects like the John Muir Award. It’s a relationship that definitely benefits all who are involved.”
Pictured: Francesca Bell, Education Officer (far left) and Richard Mears, HR Manager (far right) from Brecon Beacons National Park Authority pictured with the work experience students from across the National Park.