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Stackyard News Jan 06

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    Pig Industry Training Gathers Steam

MOVES to implement a comprehensive training strategy for the British pig industry have taken a major step forward.

Documentation to support both trainees and trainers working towards the new pig industry qualifications will be produced by ELITE Consortium, a company representing five of the UK's leading land-based colleges.

The production team, which includes eminent pig industry consultants, will be headed by Dr Sam Hoste.

BPEX is sponsoring the production of the material and will be managing the administration of the delivery of the bid but the Pig Industry Implementation Group will be responsible for ensuring the quality and timing of delivery. BPEX Strategy Co-ordinator Andrew Knowles, said: "The panel had a difficult task assessing the various proposals and were particularly impressed by two of them. "But they were finally swayed towards ELITE because of their access to and planned use of state of the art delivery methods and materials."

The panel is also delighted to announce that Gerry Brent has agreed to act as liaison between ELITE and the Implementation Group.

Implementation Group Chairman, Richard Longthorp, said: "Gerry has not only been involved with the development of the Strategy from the outset, but can legitimately claim, though undoubtedly his natural modesty would prevent him so doing, to have been the "father" of the strategy.

"Gerry used his acceptance speech at the David Black Award of 2004, to get the ear of the then Minister and Permanent Secretary to kickstart a concept that had been and continues to be close to his heart.

"He has a far more comprehensive understanding not only of the technical aspects of what the Strategy is aiming to deliver but also the conceptual parts, some of which are yet to be developed."

The Industry Group has already written a new suite of qualifications designed to be both relevant and flexible. These have been given the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority stamp of approval which in turn means that people working towards them will be eligible for funding via the Learning and Skills Council.

Groups have also been set up in several regions to pilot much of the activity planned for a national rollout later this year. The production of this material will support those seeking to attain those qualifications.

The Strategy, seen by many as a possible model for other sectors in that it is demand driven and is being developed by the industry, has already received wide acceptance and support from industry.

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