Applications open for Pig Industry Scholarship programme

Applications for the Pig Industry Scholarship programme are now open. Companies in the pig industry have until 31 August to apply to take an agricultural student on in their business for a year.

Developed by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), National Pig Association (NPA) and Harper Adams University and now in its ninth year, the Pig Industry Scholarship programme has seen 35 students spend their placement year within the industry, with many finding employment with their placement companies after graduation.

Companies that have taken part in the scheme include producers, those in the supply chain and Non-Governmental Organisations. The scheme is looking for a wide variety of businesses, including: Engineering, Food processing and manufacturing, Genetics, New product development, Nutrition, Pharmaceuticals, Pig production, Transport and logistics, and Veterinary science.

Student will receive a twelve month paid placement with a partner company, a £4,500 scholarship, and a potential further scholarship of £4,500 in the final year (subject to review after placement period).

Pippa Handley, Senior Knowledge Exchange Manager at AHDB said: “Attracting new entrants and inspiring the younger generation to pursue a career in the pig industry is key if our industry is to remain successful.

“For students, the scholarship provides a clear route into the pig industry and showcases the dynamic nature and variety of roles available throughout the supply chain. For businesses, it offers first access to a huge pool of talent and an opportunity to appraise students during what is effectively a year-long interview. It means relationships can form between students and businesses early in their studies, leading to a continued interest and desire to remain in the industry.”

Georgina Crayford, Technical Manager for Pigs at Red Tractor, and a participant in the scheme, said: “We are delighted to have offered our very first Pig Industry Scholarship. We see this positively, both in terms of bringing valuable resource into the Red Tractor team and, long-term, hopefully encouraging new talent to embark on a career in the pig sector or wider agri-food industry.

“We believe Red Tractor’s unique position in the supply chain, engaging with farmers, processors, retailers, food brands and government, means we have a lot to offer our chosen scholar in terms of exposure and opportunity for professional development.”

Dearbhla Connell took part in the programme in 2019/20 and has since secured a Junior Account Manager position with her employer ABN, she said: “Scholarship placements give employers an opportunity to demonstrate to students why they are passionate about the pig industry and the careers it can offer.

“Getting a detailed insight into a company helps students to make informed choices about the path they take after university and can provide a great opportunity to kick off a graduate career when you get on well with your placement sponsor.”

Companies who would like to find out more about taking part in the scheme can express an interest before 31 August. Placements will run across the 2022/23 academic year.

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