Harper Adams proposes national meat curriculum

Harper Adams is to co-operate with the Danish Meat Training College in the development of a meat training course and has raised the prospect of a wider training programme.

Speaking at a conference this week at Harper Adams University, Ralph Early, head of food at Harper Adams and director of the West Midlands Regional Food Academy (WMRFA), proposed the development of a national curriculum for meat sector training, education and delivery.

Early referred to the Project Eden model being used to address similar issues in the dairy sector as an example of a model the industry could follow.

Early added: "The WMRFA and Harper Adams University College are pleased to be taking a lead in working with the meat sector to resolve this critical issue."

Karen Wahlgreen, international project manager at the Danish Meat Trade College, said it had been good to visit the food department and see how they could put their efforts together.

Martin Anderson, manager of the WMRFA, and involved in planning and co-ordinating the workshop, added to the clamour for change: "The UK’s meat sector faces a serious problem in obtaining and developing skilled staff, attracting graduates and developing managers.

"This must be resolved if the sector is to have a stable and profitable future. Already the problem threatens the stability and growth of some businesses."

However, Bill Jermey, chairman of the Meat Training Council and board member of the National Skills Academy, said: "The main challenge in front of industry is that that the government is stepping back from funding training and expects companies to pay for their own training."

The seminar was organised by the WMRFA and Harper Adams University College in conjunction with the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink Manufacturing and Improve: the Food and Drink Sector Skills Council.

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