How the pig industry can avoid a manpower crisis...

by 5m Editor
7 May 2004, at 12:00am

UK - Increasingly British pig farmers will have to demonstrate, by law, that their staff are properly trained.

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NPA is active on members' behalf in Brussels & Whitehall, and with processors, supermarkets & caterers – fighting for the growth and pros-perity of the UK pig industry.

But given the industry's struggle to survive over the past five years, how are producers going to pay for decent training, see that it is carried out, and prove it has been done properly and to a recognised standard?

The good news, says Lincolnshire producer Meryl Ward, of Agskills, is that there is more than enough money available to pay for the training of everyone in the pig industry who needs it, from raw newcomers to aspiring unit managers.

But the bad news is that getting hold of the money requires dogged determination, an intimate knowledge of the way training funds are distributed and the ability to enter a mind-boggling administrative minefield.

Agskills has proved it can be done, she says, and the time has now arrived for the NPA to step in and build a system that allows all producers easily to get hold of funds to pay for on-site training of their workforce. Producers, employees and the industry as a whole will benefit.

The priorities for the industry are:

Get a suitable qualification in place that gives pig industry employers, employees and enforcement agencies what they are looking for.

Identify a self-employed specialist who will pull down the necessary grants for the industry, including the sum required for his/her own services.

Deliver the training through the most effective routes, including agricultural colleges, and company schemes such as Agskills, which has ten members representing just under five percent of the English herd.

Source: National Pig Association - 6th May 2004

5m Editor