How Pig Pro is helping to upskill the pig workforce

By Steve Dunkley, AHDB Pork head of knowledge exchange

Our industry already recognises that having skilled staff is key to the success of any pig business and, although training has been an AHDB priority for a number of years, it is an ever-developing area.

Identifying and managing skills within a business and widening training opportunities in the industry are two important areas of focus and I’m happy to say that Pig Pro, the online training recording system, is helping to deliver both.

Pig Pro was launched for the industry in 2017 as a free tool to provide businesses and individuals a way to record training attendance and qualifications. Since its launch, the events area of the database has been a popular feature, allowing users to view, then pick and choose from events and training being offered by approved training providers.

We have been overwhelmed by the positive response from both training providers and individuals using Pig Pro. With new trainers making themselves known to us by using the events function, it’s easier than ever to see just how many training opportunities are being made available.

We regularly receive applications from trainers to join Pig Pro and will be making other training providers aware that, where their events are relevant to the pig industry, we have the perfect place for these to be promoted. With interest and uptake of AHDB training programmes growing year-on-year, increasing the amount of choice is really positive.

As the manager of a pig business, the value of Pig Pro has to be in its ability to map and manage skill levels and staff training across the whole of your business.

The system is set up to list all your sites and link to each employee, allowing you to view the training records of your employees and add training events to their record and calendar. This is a real improvement on what was offered within the Pig Industry Professional Register (PIPR) and more closely aligns with Dairy Pro. 

I’m excited about the next stage of skills management for the business users, which is here following consultation with key producers. The new functionality introduces recognised assurance standard requirements for individuals’ training or in-house training requirements. This feature identifies what skills or training is required to reach each standard.

The advantage of this feature really is the ease with which each standard requirement can be tracked and viewed – Pig Pro will identify the individuals who’ve received first aid training for each site, for example.

It highlights when training needs to be updated and helpfully links to an electronic copy of the certificate.

To register as an individual or training provider, visit pigpro.ahdb/org.uk/

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