AHDB to offer new training and skills help for pig sector

AHDB has outlined plans to introduce a new framework to help improve the skills of existing people in the industry, as well as attracting new talent.

New initiatives include a human resources toolkit to help pig businesses and managers train and motivate staff and a new online skills recording system.

AHDB skills development officer Samantha Bowsher said: “Quite often pig producers do not have a dedicated HR function or the chance to train staff in-house. By making use of our HR toolkit, we can provide cost effective training sessions across practical pig production and leadership topics to support stock people, managers and owners.”

Another new offering this year will be Pig Pro, set to go live in September, which will provide farmers with a more simple and flexible way of recording staff skills. Accessed through AHDB’s online Pig Hub, the new system is the result of a 12-month consultation with industry members.

“We are confident it will be welcomed and will prove to be a valuable recording tool for businesses of all sizes,” Ms Bowsher said.

“In any business, a well-trained and motivated workforce is key to its success, and the farming industry is no exception. Each member of staff contributes to the productivity and profitability of the business, therefore recruiting, retaining and rewarding the right people is vital.

“Pig production is an increasingly technical business, requiring highly trained staff to ensure the English industry remains competitive.

Within pig production, we quite often say that you cannot manage what you don’t measure. I think this should also be extended to staff development and skills.

“The process around skills management within a business should be identifying skill levels and skill gaps, providing appropriate training and then reviewing the impact of this and identifying what the next steps should be.

“To develop the industry and get the very best out of people is why AHDB Pork has created resources within our HR toolkit, such as the appraisal template and skills matrix – all of which should be staples in any pig business.

“Providing staff with the opportunity to attend training sessions and increase their knowledge and skills is not only positive for their development, it also proves to be very motivational. And by making an investment in your staff, you not only create a happier and more productive workforce, it will also have a positive impact on your bottom line. This has to be a win-win for everyone.”

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Editor of LBM titles Pig World and Farm Business and group editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer. National Pig Association's webmaster. Previously political editor at Farmers Guardian for many years and also worked Farmers Weekly. Occasional farming media pundit. Brought up on a Leicestershire farm, now work from a shed in the garden in Oxfordshire. Big fan of Leicester City and Leicester Tigers. Occasional cricketer.