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North Shropshire College

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The Partnership Between Walford and the Dog’s Trust Keeps on Growing

The Dogs Trust near Shrewsbury is a completely new build which opened in July 2011 and houses approximately 120 dogs at any one time. For thirty years the charity that relies on donations from legacies and other fundraising has been helping dogs. They pride themselves on never putting a healthy dog down and last year alone they succeeded in rehoming 1210 dogs.

Shropshire, United Kingdom, February 03, 2012 --( Rachel Wright, Assistant Manager at the centre, has worked for the Trust for over thirteen years. She started out as an Apprentice with Walford and North Shropshire College and has worked her way up to her current position. She says “I feel the Apprenticeship scheme provides a good route into this type of work. We invest a lot of time and effort into training an Apprentice and we are then able to reap the benefits. They receive the best on the job training and a good qualification and we hope they can continue to work for us at the end of the qualification.”

18 year old Andy Plant, formerly of Sundorne School, is in the first year of the Level 2 Animal Care Apprenticeship the College. Andy spends one day a week at Walford Campus and four days a week at the Dogs Trust. He comments, “I really enjoy the Apprenticeship, I’ve always wanted to work with animals. I clean, care for and walk the dogs. I do about eight walks a day which is about eight miles, so I do have to be fit! The College aspect is really good too. At the Harris centre I work with Meerkats, snakes and other animals which is really interesting and widens my experience.”

Callum Jones, 17 is also a former Sundorne School pupil. He has just completed the Level 2 Apprenticeship with the College and is now fully employed at the trust as a K9 Carer. “I learn better doing practical things, that’s why I chose the Apprenticeship route. I came to the open day at Walford and found out about it there. The tutors at College have been really supportive and have helped me to complete the academic side of the course. The Apprenticeship has been really good, I’ve always wanted to do this type of work and getting a job at the end has been fantastic.”

Former Bridgnorth Endowed pupil, James Draper from Telford, is 24 years old. He started on an E2E programme back in 2004 which consisted of a number of work experience placements to help him decide the best route for him. James decided the Dogs Trust was the place he wanted to be and embarked on a level 2 Apprenticeship with the College in 2005. James has been employed at the trust as a full-time member of staff since 2006. He says, “The past seven years have been really enjoyable. I look after the new arrivals and carry out the initial assessments to identify if there are any training or behavioural needs. I get a lot of job satisfaction when I see the dogs being re-homed.” James screens new dogs for signs of medical problems, malnourishment and abuse. His caring and professional manner enables him to complete this task efficiently. “You have to be committed as the Trust needs staffing every day of the year including weekends, Christmas and any other bank holidays, but, it’s a very worthwhile job improving a dog’s life and nursing it to health.”

College NVQ Assessor Wendy Jenner comments, “It’s very much a partnership. I understand what the Trust is looking for and work closely with Rachel to find a suitable Apprentice to fill that need. In return they provide our Apprentices with the highest quality training. It’s great to know that as a result of the Apprenticeship scheme the centre has well trained and responsible staff and we have helped someone obtain a job they love. We’re really pleased with the number of Apprentices that have gone on to obtain full time work here.”

To make a donation to the dogs trust, become a member or sponsor a dog go online at To find out more about rehoming a dog, you can contact the centre on 01952 770225.

To find out more about Animal Care Apprenticeships at Walford and North Shropshire College, visit or call Walford Training on 01939 262132.

Contact Information
Walford & North Shropshire College
Lucy Evans
01691 688039

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