The British poultry industry has today launched a new apprenticeship standard for poultry workers, creating a pipeline to bring skilled workers into the sector.
A cross-industry group, which includes the NFU, British Poultry Council (BPC) and Poultec, has launched the new initiative at the Pig and Poultry Fair.
It is a significant investment from the poultry sector in its workforce, and strengthens the existing Poultry Passport.
The apprenticeship places a greater emphasis on all-round development, which could include a work-based diploma and assessments which consider the skills, knowledge and behaviours needed for an apprentice to be properly trained.
A higher level apprenticeship targeted at farm and hatchery managers will be launched later this year.
Apprenticeships are also being developed across the food supply chain, including food science, butchery, processing and engineering.
NFU poultry board chairman Thomas Wornham said the poultry sector is a rewarding, innovative sector that can offer the next generation a fantastic career.
“These new apprenticeship standards will play a huge role in attracting new talent to our sector, and allow us to develop our skills,” Mr Wornham explained.
“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.”
BPC chief executive Richard Griffiths said the new apprenticeship standards will help position the sector as responsible, and one that is fit for the future.
“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,” he added.
Through the new apprenticeship standards poultry businesses will be able to review and put in place training plans to develop their whole workforce.
The standards will help grow the sector’s skills base and offer apprenticeship opportunities to Britain’s school leavers.