Positive moves to encourage more youngsters to make a career in the poultry industry are starting to bear fruit, according to Nathan Raines, associate director of Poultec Training.

Apprenticeships, which provide the opportunity of on-the-job training, are being seen by more youngsters as an attractive alternative to further education at college or university, said Mr Raines.

“For young people who are prepared to work the flexible hours that livestock demand and to get their hands dirty, the poultry industry provides tremendous opportunity for progression.

“Companies are becoming more proactive in recruiting and training, recognising that there are a lot of managers at different levels who will be retiring over the next few years – and this will provide good opportunities for young people with talent and ambition.”

The Zoetis/British Poultry Council Trainee of the Year competition focuses attention on those with prospects of becoming the managers of the future, providing prizes including a £2,000 training grant for the winner to help further his or her career.

Entries are open to anyone in the poultry or egg industry and this year the award is extended to the game sector. There is no age limit, but entries must be received by Friday 30 August.

The judging panel – Phil Clarke, editor of Poultry World; Richard Griffiths of BPC; Tony Grainger of Zoetis and John Newton of ADAS – will interview the finalists on 10 October, with the winner announced at the BPC poultry awards ceremony at the House of Commons on 2 December.

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For more details and an entry form visit www.fwi.co.uk/poultrytraining or call Roger Ranson on 08454 026 527