Industry Feedback Sets Pig & Poultry LIVE Agenda19 March 2013
UK - Taking its lead from an industry survey, conducted by RASE and Pig & Poultry LIVE sponsors, ABN, this year’s conference debates the issue of attracting quality people to the sector.
According to the research from delegates from previous events, 60 per cent ranked recruiting the right calibre of people as a ‘very important’ issue facing the industry. This was closely followed by encouraging the younger generation into the sector, which was deemed ‘very important’ by 54 per cent.
Angela Booth, Technical Development and Assurance Director at ABN, believes that the feedback from the survey demonstrates that the industry is very much aware of the need to focus on encouraging young, talented people into the pig and poultry industry.
This is why the topic of ‘People’ is very much a key part of the event programme, said Ms Booth. “ABN has also invested in this area, with graduate schemes and initiatives designed to encourage enterprising young people to join the pig and poultry industry from all backgrounds.”
Ms Booth notes that the Poultry Industry Programme is one such scheme. “ABN has partnered with the NFU to run the scheme, which is designed to help the next generation of poultry farmers continue to build innovative and profitable businesses. The programme aims to provide market insight for the 20 young participants, who are from a variety of backgrounds. We hope all these initiatives will help secure a brighter future for the British poultry supply chain.”
Lucy Gallant works in poultry technical support at ABN and entered the sector from outside the farming industry. “I was keen to work in a role within an industry where I could utilise my biology degree, and I saw an opportunity to do that in the poultry sector.
“But before entering the industry I didn’t appreciate the scale of the poultry market, and its importance to the economy. There are a lot of opportunities for research and technology skills within the pig and poultry industry as a whole, that I was not aware of until joining the industry.”
Ms Gallant added that from her point of view, the industry needs to work hard to remove the stigma that you must be from ‘farming stock’. “Yet, there are a wealth of opportunities, particularly in applying science degrees and building a career in technical disciplines, as I have done.
“Working within a progressive company has allowed me to take on opportunities to further my knowledge and education. I am currently studying an MSc in Applied Poultry Science through SAC, which is a specifically tailored programme for the poultry sector,” explained Ms Gallant.
“These are the type of opportunities that will be discussed at the Pig & Poultry LIVE event,” added Ms Booth.
Pig & Poultry LIVE 2013 will see David Yiend, CEO AB Agri presenting the Bright Crop initiative to the pig and poultry sector. Bright Crop is designed to inspire new young talent to consider a career in farming and food supply by promoting positive perceptions of agriculture and the associated sectors, with a key emphasis on attracting school pupils.
“We need pig and poultry producers, and supply chain companies to talk to pupils, and careers advisors about how rewarding a career in the sector can be,” says Mr Yiend.
The main challenge for entrants looking to join the industry is getting ‘their foot in the door’ explains Heidi Neal, ABN General Nutritionist. “This is where the AB Agri graduate scheme is brilliant; it offers graduates a stepping stone into the industry, with fast track career development.
“I found the graduate scheme provided me with the variety, skill set and support I was looking for as a science graduate with a focus on nutrition, and it led to a permanent position.”
Angela Booth concluded by saying that the Pig & Poultry LIVE event is a great platform to get the pig and poultry industry together, to discuss how to attract the right young people to the sector, and then retain them.
The ‘People’ issue is making up a large proportion of the programme’s agenda for the Pig & Poultry LIVE event on 15 May, with the afternoon session dedicated to the subject, with views on recruiting the right calibre of people, motivation, staff retention and developing industry skills and expertise.
ThePoultrySite News Desk