Evolved learning

With education in the meat industry constantly changing, ABP UK explains how its Talent Academy programme has evolved over the years. 

Nothing remains static and the meat industry is no different, especially in terms of training staff. What’s important is that businesses adapt their training programme to meet these needs. One business that has moved with changing times is ABP UK and its People Change Talent Academy.

ABP’s people change talent manager Mandy Thompson says its Academy’s focus has shifted as new pressures have taken precedence in the meat industry.

“The foundation of the Academy in 2016 has defined early career pathways to better align entry routes with external factors such as the Apprenticeship Levy, Brexit, a widening sector skills gap and an acceleration of automation and innovation which requires a different set of skills than before. ABP is well equipped to respond by maintaining the successes established over several years and by embracing new methods of attraction and pools of labour.”

She explains how the scheme has changed since its formal introduction in 2011. “ABP UK has conducted targeted graduate and undergraduate recruitment since 2003 but the programme was formalised in 2011 as part of a wider focus driven by the group on succession planning for key site roles. Through structured learning, hands-on projects, continuous feedback and mentoring, the programme affords colleagues the opportunity to grow and make a difference in their chosen discipline.

“The programme was rebranded in 2016 when it became part of the ABP Talent Academy to align graduate, apprentice, and industrial placement (undergraduate) career pathways. As part of the review a boot camp-style induction was introduced, followed by three weeks of site-based generic learning before the signature site rotations commence after this initial four- week induction/on-boarding process.”

Some previous graduates now occupy posts such as general manager, site financial controller and planning manager at ABP sites across the country. “With several of the graduates now in senior site and divisional roles, the programme has a strong reputation for its success in providing cross-functional rotational exposure to develop well-rounded, commercially- minded managers and leaders.”

Thompson says there’s always going to be jobs in the meat industry. “The Food and Drink Federation recently announced that the industry will need 140,000 new recruits by 2024 to feed an expected population of 70m people and meet market demands,” she explains.

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