The minister visited the campus where she viewed the facilities and met students studying on equine Further and Higher Education programmes.
Speaking about her visit, Miss McIlveen said: “With a long history of delivering excellent education in the agriculture and equine fields to young people from across Northern Ireland and beyond, there is no doubt that CAFRE Enniskillen is one of the premier providers of its kind in the British Isles.
“The fact that a high proportion of CAFRE Enniskillen alumni go on to work in the equine industry is proof that the education here is delivering the skills and knowledge young people need to go out into the world and make their way in their chosen vocation.
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“Equine courses at CAFRE Enniskillen remain a popular choice for young people. I am particularly pleased to see so many young women studying and achieving here in what might be considered by some to be a male dominated area of study.”
On top of the equine education provided at CAFRE Enniskillen, DAERA is also developing a strategy for the equine industry in Northern Ireland.
The minister continued: “Horses have always played a role in rural life in Northern Ireland, not only in recreation but also in the economy. I want to see this continue and indeed to help the industry flourish further. I am pleased, therefore, that officials from my Department are working with stakeholders, including the Equine Council for Northern Ireland, to produce a strategy that will help make the very most of the excellent resources and opportunities available in this exciting and lucrative sector.”
She concluded: “It was a pleasure to speak with the young people studying at CAFRE Enniskillen and see the type of practical and theoretical learning they are engaged in. They are developing the technical, management, practical and interpersonal skills which will enable them to contribute to the competitiveness of the local equine industry and are a credit to themselves and the staff.”
Find out more about the courses and facilities available at CAFRE Enniskillen Campus at http://www.cafre.ac.uk/explore-cafre/enniskillen