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Stackyard News Nov 06

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    Farmer-Friendly Training Scheme

The Oxford Dictionary defines skill as: practised ability, dexterity, tact, all of which are vital attributes for staff on a modern pig farm.

(L to R) Chris Brown of ASDA, Jeff Rooker,
and Richard Longthorp

Chris Brown of ASDA, Jeff Rooker, and Richard Longthorp

And to make sure these people have the necessary skills, a new training programme has just been launched, funded by the British Pig Executive (BPEX).

The industry itself was the driving force behind the creation of the Certificates of Competence with Yorkshire Pig Producer Richard Longthorp, chairman of the Pig Industry Training Strategy Implementation Group, at the forefront.

He said: "The whole concept has been designed by the industry for the industry, rather than being approached from an academic standpoint. This has made the programme user-friendly and takes into account the problems encountered on a pig farm.

"It can be  difficult for people to get time off for training, or to go to evening classes so the training is on-farm and can be carried out by other members of staff - though the actual skills are externally assessed and accredited."

The programme has received sponsorship from ASDA which, as a company, has a strong commitment to training.

ASDA Agricultural Development Manager Chris Brown said: "ASDA is very pleased to be involved with this because we appreciate the importance of training and it demonstrates our commitment both to training and the British pig industry."

Food and Farming Minister Lord Rooker, who formally launched the scheme in London, said: "Training is vitally important and it is gratifying to see all the hard work coming to fruition. This will benefit the whole industry for years to come."

For more information, or to order training materials, contact Miriam Drewett on 01908 844749, email

The training strategy has the backing of Agricultural Development in the Eastern Region, Agskills, the NPA, Lantra, Defra, National Proficiency Training Centre, and LANDEX with sponsorship from ASDA. The training materials were produced by Elite and printed by the 4DM Group of Kettering, Northants.

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