A new training module on pig production has been launched by Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) in response to industry concerns over the small number of skilled workers entering the sector.
Based at SRUC’s Aberdeen campus, the module includes close links with four local producers, whose involvement means students, studying for a National Certificate in Agriculture, are able to complete practical on-farm sessions and gain experience of working with pigs in all stages of production.
“The time given by farmers and their staff has made it possible for students to get an introduction into the pig industry,” said livestock lecturer at Craibstone, Aberdeen, Dr Anna Sinclair. “We had very positive feedback from all those involved and several are now consider entering into the sector.”
Well known north-east Scotland pig farmer, Philip Sleigh, one of those hosting the students, added: “Recruiting staff onto pig farms is an on-going challenge and this new initiative will hopefully allow these students to see the possibility of a career in pig farming.”
The other farmers involved in the project are Kevin Gilbert, Roderic Bruce and Patrick Stephens. The headline image (left-to-right) shows students Grant Meston, Douglas Greig and Sara MacGregor with Andrew Munro, who manages Mr Sleigh’s unit.