A South West Poultry Academy is about to be launched, designed to raise the profile of careers in poultry and offering a “matchmaking” service between employers and potential employees.

The academy has been developed through a partnership between the West Country Layers Association, the South West Chicken Association and Duchy College, with the support of individual poultry businesses throughout the region.

One of its activities will be to run a new apprenticeship programme, encouraging skill development and helping employers recruit new staff.

The programme has been designed to cater for both egg and broiler producers, with a mix of common modules, as well as specialist modules differentiating between the sectors. The programme will support skills required for the Poultry Passport Scheme and the Lion Code.

Delivered over 18 months, it will include monthly workshops and on-farm practicals. Apprentices will be supported and assessed in the workplace at regular intervals, while working and earning a wage.

Training for apprentices aged 16-18 is fully funded, while those for apprentices aged 19 and above are co-funded, with a fee charged to the employer. Employers who recruit an apprentice aged 16-24 could be eligible for a government apprenticeship grant of £1,500.

For more information call Rachel Watkins on 07966 558 386 or email her.

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