£300,000 boost for pig skills

BPEX has set out its stall to help the British pig industry boost its skills levels

, with grant applications worth more than £300,000 in the pipeline to a range of Regional Development Authorities (RDA).

Some £77,000 has already been agreed in the Yorkshire and Humberside Region and all the others are at various stages of development.

The money represents 70% of the value of each project, as there is a need for 30% match-funding required.

BPEX skills development manager Tess Howe said: "The key to the bids is to secure the money for the industry to use and we need people who already carry out knowledge transfer/training to come forward and apply to use this money.

"The money will be used to help support existing initiatives and encourage new ideas to benefit levy payers in terms of staff development and complement the current work of the BPEX KT team.

"We want to hear from firms, organisations and individuals who carry out this sort of work, to let us know what they have to offer the British pig industry.

The format used for Yorkshire is the template for all the other applications to RDAs."

The aims are:

· Deliver relevant, flexible workshops/events to farmers based on current requirements and demand

· Co-ordinate the events to make sure producers are not overloaded

· Provide appropriate "training the trainer"/assessor skills where necessary

· Record formal and informal skills development through an established, independent Continuous Professional Development (CPD) scheme

· Provide training for all levels of staff (including marketing, risk management, and environmental awareness)

· Demonstrate business benefits of skills development/new concepts by examples

· Support and encourage producer clubs and discussion groups so that producers can share practical advice

· Encourage group investigation of alternative systems implemented elsewhere that may help improve production efficiency/reduce environmental footprint through study tours.

If anybody is involved in training and would like to know more, please get in touch with Tess Howe on 07779 321078 or any member of the KT team. Contact details are available on the BPEX website - www.bpex.org.uk .

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