No Easy Start For Smith's Work Experience 2008

28 July 2008
Fresh from the Glasgow East by election, SNP MEP Alyn Smith has today (Monday) started his annual fortnight of work experience.

This year, as Scotland’s only full representative on the European Parliament’s Agriculture Committee, he has adopted a themed work experience fortnight which will go from “field to fork” exploring the critical infrastructure around the Agricultural sector.

Mr Smith was up bright and early this morning to begin his work experience with a day in MacIntosh Donald Slaughterhouse in Portlethen, Aberdeenshire. His next task will be to try his hand as an assistant to a Vet in Shetland on Wednesday.

Speaking from Aberdeen after his placement, Mr Smith said:

"Well, what a start to the fortnight! That would definitely be classed as being thrown in at the deep end!

"While it would be stretching the truth to say that that was my favourite placement from over the years, there is no doubt that I have come away with a real grasp of the issues and difficulties that are faced by the sector at the moment, a grasp that can only be gained from experiencing it first hand. Not only that but I have certainly used muscles today that I didn’t know I had, carting carcasses here and there!

"I have been cleaning pens, meat packing, salting hides and deboning beef today. I never want it to be said that I don’t get my hands dirty! I am certainly hopeful that my day with the vets in Shetland is less bloody anyway!

"Nevertheless, there is a serious side to my exploits. Scotland’s agricultural sector is up against serious difficulties at the moment in various forms. I hope that after two weeks of travelling about Scotland trying different jobs and meeting people from all sorts of backgrounds, I will come out of these experiences with not only a better understanding of the problems but hopefully some practical solutions to them too."