We aim to make our troopers more employable from their time with us. This is often hard to quantify but the soft skills of teamwork, communication, motivation and reliability are the core skills that we aim to improve in everyone. Clearly there is no level playing field in this game, but there is room for all our troopers to develop these skills whatever their start points.
Then there is the plethora of practical outdoor skills that our troopers can develop (where appropriate) while they are with us, building on the knowledge they have acquired and applying the techniques they have learned. From the horticultural skills of sowing, planting, pruning, composting, hoeing, weeding, turfing, mowing and watering, to the more generic farming skills of grassland over-sowing, topping, fencing, hedgerow maintenance, bonfire building, wood chip preparation, wildlife conservation and Gator driving.
Whilst we do not currently involve direct contact with the farm animals, there are times such as during lambing, when indirect support with topping up on water and silage takes place as a background activity to contextualise the understanding of animal lifecycles. Then there is the business learning outcome of not just growing a product but actually selling it too; the troopers are actively involved at every stage of our vegetable business from seed to sale and this provides a very real and valuable purpose to their experience with us.
We encourage all our troopers to use their time with us to develop themselves for their next stage and they leave us with a meaningful reference and record of achievement to help them on their way.