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10-05-2007 - Young Vet Network Launched – Easing Your Transition to Professional Life The BVA has today (Wednesday) launched its Young Vet Network (YVN), designed to provide additional support and services for BVA members in their final year at university and first 8 years after graduation. This exciting new initiative has been developed in conjunction with a group of twenty graduate members whose advice and requests have been translated into a support package, which they are confident their peers will both value and use.

Speaking at the launch, held in the House of Lords at a reception hosted by the Lord Soulsby of Swaffham Prior, young graduate Louisa Rance drew on her personal experience to outline the highs and lows of life for the new graduate but stressed: “I sincerely love my profession and what we do to safeguard the health and welfare of animals under our care. But to do this, to the best of our abilities, we must also safeguard the health and welfare of ourselves and our colleagues; and I feel the YVN initiative goes not a little way to achieving this and that is why I am proud to be a part of it.”

BVA President David Catlow, the architect of the BVA’s Recent Graduate Support Scheme (RGSS), launched earlier this year, is in no doubt that “new graduates represent the future of our profession” but said he had been “shocked to learn of the disappointments and unhappy experiences that some young vets had encountered. This was unacceptable as far as BVA was concerned and it is” he said “our intention that over time the YVN will evolve to form a fully comprehensive support package.

“The initial services on offer to our young graduate members will include:
- a comprehensive graduate handbook, available to all BVA members who are in their final year or have recently graduated, up to 8 years qualified;
- an online group of final year students and recent graduate members, on hand to offer advice and support, answer questions and facilitate informal meetings with other graduates in their area;
- a dedicated section of the BVA website containing useful tips and advice on how to deal with the first years in practice; and
- recent graduate representation on BVA Council.

“Representation of young graduate concerns is, of course, a key part of the YVN” said Mr Catlow “and we feel that BVA Council is the ideal forum for recent graduates to voice their concerns, contribute to the debate and feed back to their peers.” This view was echoed by Louisa who, along with her colleague Kelly Bowlt, has been elected to represent the views of recent graduates on BVA Council, who used the launch to challenge her peers, “through the online group and through their regional divisions, to become engaged with Council and to establish a unique voice that is truly representative of recent veterinary graduates.”

“We understandably” said Mr Catlow “have great hopes that the Young Vet Network, coupled with the Recent Graduate Support Scheme, will provide an invaluable and unequalled medium for newly qualified vets to seek advice and support during their early years.”

Notes for Editors

For further information contact the BVA Press Office on 020 7908 6340 or

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