Meat course to attract fresh talent

Some of the UK's largest meat companies have joined with one of the country's leading universities in an exciting new training scheme aimed at university graduates.

Under the scheme, graduates are employed by a business but are given time to study towards a postgraduate qualification in Meat Science at the University of Bristol.

Developed by staff at the Division of Farm Animal Science, along with a number of businesses in the industry, the scheme is aimed at providing an attractive way of encouraging graduates to join the industry.

It also provides a vehicle for training individuals already working in the industry to a higher level.

So far, five major meat processing companies are involved with the scheme: Cranswick Country Foods, Dawn Meats, Hilton Meats, 2 Sisters Food Group and Tulip. Between them, they employ almost 20,000 people, operating from about 50 sites throughout the UK and having a combined annual turnover in excess of £2 billion.

Kirsty Wilkins, group human resources director at Tulip, said: "Strengthening our teams and ensuring we have succession planning in place is crucial; this is an ideal way to recruit great people with drive and enthusiasm, while ensuring we continue their development. These people will help move the business forward and meet the challenges of an increasingly sophisticated industry."

Comprising seven subject modules, the Meat Science course covers every part of the meat chain, from animal production through to eating quality. The course has a long history of training graduates for the industry, with some former students, such as Mark Field, technical director at 2 Sisters, now occupying senior positions in the industry.

Course organiser Dr Peter Sheard, said: "This is a fantastic opportunity that allows graduates to gain valuable industry experience, achieve a postgraduate qualification and begin a satisfying career in one of the largest sectors of the food industry."

More details about the scheme can be found on the university website at www.vetschool.bris.ac.uk/courses/msc.