A TRAINEE auctioneer has joined Leyburn Auction Mart.

Jack Pickup, aged 19, from Guisburn, joined the mart just before Christmas and was conducting sales within a fortnight.

As well as learning on the job, he is studying for a qualification in Livestock Market Operations and Management at Harper Adams University.

At the completion of his two-year course, which involves studying online and visits to the Shropshire university’s campus, he will hold a university foundation certificate and qualify for associate member status of the Livestock Auctioneers’ Association.

He said: “I am really loving life at the mart, learning my trade and getting to know the regular characters here. I’ve always wanted to be a auctioneer so this is my dream job.”

Mr Pickup met Richmond MP Rishi Sunak when he had lunch at the mart during a day of constituency engagements.

Mr Sunak said: “I really enjoyed meeting Jack and hearing about how he was making his way in the world.

“It was particularly heartening to hear how he is combining work with online study at such a respected agricultural college.”