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Skills Passport will strengthen Scotland's future prospects

by 5m Editor
17 December 2007, at 10:36am

SCOTLAND - The Scottish pig sector may be facing difficult times, but a new will help strengthen it's future by training the next generation of pig keepers.

Launched by Lantra, the initiative aims to recognise formal and informal training and skills gained through work experience. It award those participating with "Skills Passports" confirming their practical knowledge of working with pigs and where appropriate, business management skills including finance and marketing. It covers four levels of ability from new entrant to managerial.

Mary Mitchell, Regional Partnership Manager of Lantra, said this scheme was a first for Scotland.

Andrew Munro, the head pig man at Slains Park, Laurencekirk, who has taken part in the pilot testing of the scheme, described the "passport" as an excellent idea that identified where gaps in knowledge and skills existed.

"It really helps both the employee and the employer," he stated

Also praising the scheme was David Whiteford, of Scottish Food Quality Certification, who said that it was a very positive structured way of supporting those who work in the industry. He is urging the industry to get behind the scheme and join up as soon as possible

"The Skills Passport provides quality assurance and demonstrates competence in important areas of animal husbandry and welfare. Because it deals with several levels of competence, it can be used for staff training and development," he added.

Where gaps in skills were identified, the online Lantra One Stop Shop for Training could be used to locate appropriate courses.

So far 15 pig farmers have participated through a Lantra and Quality Meat Scotland pilot project 'Developing Business Competencies'. This is aimed at supporting the development of the pig farming industry in Scotland and has been funded by European Social Funding.

5m Editor