The poultry industry has announced a new apprenticeship standard to be launched in the UK.
The National Farmers Union (NFU) launched the new standard at the Pig and Poultry Fair, in an effort to create a “pipeline to bring skilled workers into the sector and developing existing skills and talent”.
The standard was put together by a cross-industry group, which included the NFU as well as the British Poultry Council or BPC and Poultec. With their efforts, it seems clear that they feel there could be more skilled food jobs on offer for those who are able to gain the experience required.
The apprenticeship is only available currently to workers in England, and will be placing an emphasis on greater all-round development. This could include a work-based diploma alongside assessments which consider whether the apprentice is taking on their training properly. They will look closely at skills, knowledge, and behaviour, all three of which are important factors in job training.
“The poultry sector is an incredibly rewarding, innovative sector that can offer the next generation a fantastic career,” said Thomas Wornham, the poultry board chairman for the NFU. “These new apprenticeship standards will play a huge role in attracting new talent to our sector, and allow us to develop our skills. Apprenticeships offer farmers an excellent way to recruit new people and develop their skills, and ensure farm businesses can continue to be productive, profitable and progressive.”
Chief Executive of the BPC, Richard Griffiths, said: “The new apprenticeship standards will help position us as a responsible food sector that is fit for the future and demonstrate how we are playing a vital role in shaping the future of young people. Recruiting, training and retaining high-calibre talent will not only take our sector from strength to strength, but will also bolster the heart of Britain’s food supply and secure it for generations to come.”
More apprenticeships to come
It looks as though there are set to be more new apprenticeships aimed at food recruitment over the next year. One of these is a higher-level apprenticeship, which will target farm and hatchery management positions.
The rest of the food supply chain has plenty of opportunities currently developing, too. There are rumours or confirmed reports of apprenticeships which are being developed in food science, engineering, processing, and butchery, to name but a few. It seems like now is a great time for apprentices, and those who are looking to leave school over the next few years will have plenty of choices on offer for them.
This all follows a new abattoir apprenticeship scheme which was already approved in January, with the go-ahead given by employers and industry bodies.
Andrew Bodie is the chair of the British Poultry Training organisation. He said, “Our vision for the new model of poultry apprenticeships is one which delivers tangible skills and mentoring in the workplace, leads to a return on investment for the employer and provides full competence for the apprentice. Through the new apprenticeship standards poultry businesses will be able to review and put in place training plans to develop their whole workforce, effectively grow their skills base and offer great apprenticeship opportunities to Britain’s school leavers.”
While many school leavers may not see the food industry as suitable for long-term work, they are often not aware of the sheer breadth of training opportunities that are available to them – or how valuable the career ladder can become. This is another strong effort from a sector of the British food industry to encourage new employees to choose training, life skills, and qualifications.