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Schools Pack to Promote Poultry Career Launched

30 September 2013

UK - A set of educational resources for primary and secondary school pupils in the UK has ben compiled by teh British Poultry Council to promote a career in the poultry industry.

The first schools pack, which includes videos and lesson plans, has been produced with assistance from the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) and Farming and Countryside Education (FACE).

The schools pack gives a broad overview of the British poultry industry, including how it operates and contributes to the food we eat. At the primary school level, the material is designed to help children understand the importance of choosing and preparing nutritious and healthy food. It forms part of the BNF’s work to encourage healthy eating in the school programme, with the primary school material fitting into the food section of the National Curriculum.

The secondary school pack highlights the people working in the poultry sector and shows the opportunities available for school leavers – from apprenticeships to graduate programmes – to start them on a rewarding career path.

John Reed, Chairman of the BPC, commented: "Strong consumer demand for British poultry offers hope for the industry’s future. It is imperative that children from primary school age upwards understand where their food comes from and how it is produced.

"Children begin to consider their career options as they progress through secondary school and it is important they are aware of the rewarding opportunities which the poultry sector can offer. A sustainable and successful British industry needs quality people who are given every opportunity to develop their skills. The poultry industry operates across the length and breadth of the UK and requires a diverse workforce, with different skills, in order to keep on feeding the nation."

Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Rt Hon Owen Paterson MP, said: "The success of the poultry industry, like the agri-food sector more widely, depends upon the right people with the right skills. Careers range from entry to PhD level with lots of scope for development and progression in one of the UK's largest and most successful sectors. We will always need food and I am pleased to say the industry is always developing and growing.

"BPC and the poultry meat industry should be congratulated for their positive and proactive work to engage with school children. These school packs should help to build an awareness of the sector and the rewarding careers in the poultry industry amongst school children of all ages."

Having finished the material, the BPC’s members intend to work with BNF and FACE to engage with schools near to their operations, to improve the poultry industry’s relationship with its local communities.

The schools material is ready at an opportune time, with a recent survey of BPC members showing that two-thirds were more confident about the poultry industry’s future than six months before. 70 per cent said their employment levels had risen over the past six months (60 per cent had seen a slight increase, with ten per cent a significant increase) and 80 per cent said the skills base within their organisation had increased over the past six months (70 per cent increased slightly and ten per cent increased significantly).

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