Trainee pig worker placements offered to new entrants

A pig production company and staff recruitment firm have joined forces to offer an on-the-job training course for new entrants to the pig sector.

Allen Farming Group and Roadhogs Recruitment devised the scheme as a way of tackling current difficulties with attracting staff and investing in the pig sector’s future.

Roadhogs’ managing director, Liz Barker, said pig farm businesses often found it a challenge to recruit skilled staff or provide training for workers without experience.

Brexit hasn’t helped with this challenge and Covid-19 has made it worse, Ms Barker said.

“But we hope the structured, practical training scheme will encourage new entrants of any age into the sector,” she added.

“With the skills learned, they can then go on to build a career whether they stay with the Allen Farming Group or move on,” Ms Barker said.

Ultimately the wider industry should benefit from a better-trained workforce that is more likely to be retained for the longer-term.

See also: Getting into dairy farming: Options for new entrants

How it works

Entry-level applicants of all ages will be considered. Chosen candidates will receive full pay for the 12-month placement with 28 days holiday and accommodation provided if required.

The placement will run across all sections of the Allen Group’s pig business on indoor units in Dorset and outdoor farms in West Sussex.

Training will be structured using a skills matrix so that the trainee can tick off each completed stage across several learning modules. Each module should take about six weeks to complete.

Allen Farming Group will manage this in conjunction with Pig Pro, the training and development web-based tool designed by AHDB for the pig industry.

Line managers will sign off each section once the trainee completes it. The Pig Pro system is well recognised across the industry and records are kept in a single, transferable format.

After the 12 months, successful candidates will have the opportunity of employment within the pig farming group if a position is available.

What does the course include?

  • Intake of stock
  • Set up accommodation – pens, huts, paddocks
  • Farm isolation procedures
  • Integration/acclimatisation/vaccination procedures
  • Weighing and handling
  • Decide if and when to remove pigs from the group
  • Feed management
  • Record keeping
  • Maintain suitable environment
  • Identify abnormalities

Allen Farming Group will also provide external training in:

  • Veterinary medicines
  • Euthanasia training
  • Moving and handling certificate
  • Telehandler (with time clause)

More information and how to apply can be found on the Roadhogs Recruitment website.