Entries are now open for the 2012 Pfizer Trainee of the Year Award, with an opportunity to win a £2,000 training grant.

Previous winner of the Pfizer training award, Ben Pollard, is using his prize money to fund an Open University management qualification.

Mr Pollard is employed by Aviagen in its pedigree breeding operation in Scotland where his responsibilities include monitoring the performance of pedigree lines.

When he won the award, Mr Pollard was thinking of studying for an HNC in poultry production, but also had his eye on management training and computer skills. With his future career path in mind, he opted for an Open University Professional Certificate in Management which provides a broad-based, practical introduction to the key ideas, techniques and overall competencies needed to manage effectively and productively.

The course puts the emphasis on Mr Pollard’s own professional development. Study is related to his role and responsibilities in his company, enabling him to apply newly-learned skills, knowledge and techniques in very practical ways. There is an emphasis on critical thinking, understanding organisational structures, effective project management, good communication and the ability to manage time.

Ben Pollard

Mr Pollard, who began the course in November, has finished the first module on organisation and managing people, and has just begun the second on marketing and finance. “I hope this module is as good as the first,” he said.

Jan Morris, human resources director of Aviagen, says that Mr Pollard chose broader management studies rather than a more technical course.

“I feel this is an indication of his ambition,” she said. “Despite being busy at work and having his own family commitments, he is planning his time carefully to make sure he keeps up with the course workload.”

Pfizer training award

The award, which is organised in conjunction with Poultry World, is designed to aid career development and draw attention to the prospects in the industry.

“The poultry industry is a major sector of UK agriculture and a big success story,” says James Porritt, poultry manager of Pfizer Animal Health for UK and Ireland. “In contrast to the situation a few years ago, more young people and their teachers and careers advisers are recognising the opportunities in the sector.

“There is every chance that, if you have the talent and ambition, you can work your way to a senior position in the UK or even global industry,” he added.

Deadline for entries is 27 July, after which three entries will be shortlisted by the judging panel and will be profiled in Poultry World.

In September the panel, which comprises of Poultry World editor Philip Clarke, ADAS consultant John Newton and Pfizer’s poultry technical manager Stuart Andrews, will interview each of the three candidates and select a winner.

The finalists will then attend a presentation at the House of Commons, where the winner will be announced. In addition to the £2,000 first prize, Pfizer will provide hotel accommodation in London for the finalists and their partners.

There is no age limit for entrants. Entry forms are simple to complete and can be found as an insert to this (May) issue or online at www.fwi.co.uk/poultrytraining