PUPILS from two Lanark schools have heard about the exciting career opportunities in livestock auctioneering from one of the sector's leading firms, Lawrie and Symington.

Auctioneer and event manager Willie McCulloch visited Lanark Grammar School and Robert Owen Memorial Primary School to provide an insight into life working at an auction mart and the employment pathways youngsters may want to consider.

Mr McCulloch, who first joined the company as an office junior and progressed up the ladder, took part in Lanark Grammar School’s S3 skills workshop and gave a presentation to P6 pupils at Robert Owen Memorial Primary School.

“Auctioneering is a specialist profession and good auctioneers are very hard to come by," he said. "We’re keen to raise awareness of our work, particularly amongst local people, and let them know what it is we do. The industry needs to inspire more youngsters to consider this as a career path.

“The pupils were taking in what was being said and given the chance to auction an item. We typically look for people who are keen to learn and can adapt to various situations – qualifying as an auctioneer would require completing a four-year course at Harper Adams University in Shropshire.”

SQA National Five passes in English and Maths are required for entry on the university course.

Lanark Grammar School teacher Graeme Blackwood said: “This event is massively valuable in the Developing the Young Workforce initiative and the involvement of local employers in this is hugely important. The workshop helps inform the kids on routes they might want to take in their careers and the skills they will require.”