A meat inspection firm, Eville & Jones, has launched a training scheme for skilled vets.
They have previously warned of a shortage of those with the skills needed, which is set to impact the UK as overseas talent return to their native countries following the Brexit process.
Eville & Jones say that there is soon going to be a shortfall in the number of meat industry inspection services, with graduate jobs not being taken up at a fast enough rate to replace those who are leaving the country.
“This change is demonstrated in where consumers purchase their meat, the increase in out-of-home eating and the changes in the retail and distribution infrastructure resulting in the reduction of available people who are interested in training for this role,” said a spokesperson.
Not only that, but the situation has also become more aggravated as the supply of MHIs has all but disappeared – along with those training for the situation. It was reflective of the structural changes that the meat industry in the UK had seen over the past 30 years, but it was still a big problem – and one that needed a solution.
“The initial recruitment process for veterinarians within the UK did not attract the numbers required to meet demand. This reflects the difference in the basic training of veterinarians overseas, where one of the core elements of their courses focuses specifically on the area of food hygiene and meat inspection,” added the spokesperson. “As a result, the food hygiene enforcement role within the profession provides an attractive career prospect for newly qualified personnel. So, the recruitment process focused increasingly on staff from overseas. Recruits from this source now form the backbone of the service. However, over recent times, many of these veterinarians have become unsettled about their future in the UK. This mainly driven by the Brexit process, and is now impacting on the already relatively high staff turnover rate. Over the same period, recruitment of new staff is becoming increasingly difficult.”
With new approval from the Food Standards Agency, Eville & Jones have designed a new training programme which is now almost ready for delivery. The company is prepared to fully fund the training part of the programme, with no time constraints on training and assessment.
It is expected that the course will take between nine to 12 months for most candidates, and will include red meat as well as poultry elements. After completing the course, the Eville & Jones team will accept candidates into a full-time and permanent post with the company.
The spokesperson commented, “The recruitment process has just commenced and we are looking for suitable candidates who have some meat industry or livestock production experience and are looking for a challenge. The role of operatives in delivering meat inspections changed significantly, with the requirements for veterinary involvement increasing and the job title of Authorised Meat Inspectors (AMIs) changed to Official Auxiliary, although they are now referred to as Meat Hygiene Inspectors (MHIs).”
It seems that this is a wake-up call for anyone looking to move out of their current role in a supply chain job and move towards something that could be more exciting. Anyone who is currently trained as a vet should be well-placed to tackle the course, scoring a change in career direction, a new qualification, and the chance to take up a ready and waiting job offer. There are very few training schemes which are as sure a thing as this, so it’s a great opportunity if you are in need of a new role.