The British Poultry Council (BPC) has created a package of educational material covering the health benefits of chicken and a career in the poultry industry as part of its effort to draw more people into the industry.
The project, which has had input from the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) and FACE (Farming and Countryside Education), includes videos and lesson plans, and can be accessed through the BPC website, www.britishpoultry.org.uk
At primary school level, the focus is on helping children understand how to choose and prepare nutritious food, and is part of BNF’s work to encourage healthy eating education in schools. This fits into the food section of the National Curriculum.
The secondary school pack highlights people working in the poultry sector, with a number of case studies, and aims to show the opportunities available for school leavers – from apprenticeships to graduate programmes and beyond.
Armed with these materials, BPC members will be visiting schools near their businesses to improve relationships with local communities. It is hoped that members of the industry will also come forward and, with some training from FACE, become ambassadors for poultry in their area.
John Reed, chairman of the BPC, said: “Children begin to consider their career options as they progress through secondary school and it is important they are aware of the rewarding opportunities which the poultry sector can offer.
“A sustainable and successful British industry needs quality people who are given every opportunity to develop their skills.”
DEFRA secretary Owen Paterson said the BPC and the poultry meat industry should be congratulated for their “positive and proactive work”. “These school packs should help to build an awareness of the sector and the rewarding careers in the poultry industry.”
Primary school pack
It may never be too early to get someone interested in a poultry career, but the primary school resources aim to support a wider part of the curriculum that teaches children about safe food preparation and cooking. Part of this is linking farming to food on a plate.
Teachers will be provided with support through lesson suggestions, case studies and video clips that are designed to demystify the poultry industry. It will seek to encourage pupils to find out about a “growing industry that plays a significant part in their lives and will offer future job opportunities”.
Finally, the resources list ways to gain qualifications, and find apprenticeships and training schemes available to those interested in a career in the poultry industry.
For more on attracting people to the poultry sector, see our special report in the November issue of Poultry World