An innovative new training programme has been launched to recruit new talent into the UK's growing egg industry.
Despite being the UK’s fastest growing protein sector, there is a shortage of people coming into the egg sector and little training is currently available.
In response, the British Egg Academy has been launched to help those looking to get a foothold in the sector.
It is delivered in partnership with Chippindale Foods – Morrisons’ own integrated egg operation – as well as numerous companies who are specialists within the industry.
The UK egg sector is worth over £1 billion to the UK economy and plays an important role in feeding the population.
Richard Pearson, Head of Agriculture at Chippindale Foods, said demand for eggs was growing, fuelled in part by younger consumers who recognise eggs as an affordable and sustainable protein.
However, he noted there was a general shortage of young people and new entrants ready to undertake roles in the industry.
“The UK egg sector is a fantastic place to work and there are so many opportunities right throughout the supply chain,” he said.
“But we’ve also recognised a shortage of training to equip and inspire people to undertake roles throughout the sector.”
Mr Pearson explained that as a 'proactive industry', Chippindales and its industry partners were keen to make something happen.
He said that partnering with 29 other groups - including Bishop Burton College which will be delivering the course – to devise a programme tailored to the requirements of the modern egg sector would equip students with key skills.
Through a balance between classroom education and hands-on experience, he said the course aims to offer the best of both worlds and present the breadth and variety of opportunities available.
The year-long course equips students with a Level 2 Diploma in Agriculture with training and work-based learning from the 30 supporting companies.
Andrew Black, Business Development Assistant Principal at Bishop Burton, said: “The Egg Academy is a completely unique concept – it really is something we haven’t seen done before.
“The interest we’ve received from industry has been phenomenal and it’s enabled us to create a programme specifically tailored to the industry to showcase the wealth of knowledge, specialism and opportunities.”
Mr Black explained that a progressive combination of both classroom and practical learning was key to the development of academy.
As a result, students can expect to gain insights from specialists from the supply chain, including experts in welfare, genetics, policy and construction – both within and beyond the college environment.
“This course will provide students with both an accredited qualification and the opportunity to learn through doing which will be a huge asset to students and employers alike,” he said.