Posted 27 October 2014
“We are seeing big changes in the world and what it needs and the poultry industry is going to be absolutely front and centre in responding to that need."
Students packed out the largest lecture theatre at Harper Adams University this week to learn about a series of exciting scholarship opportunities in the livestock sector.
First, Andrew Large, Chief Executive of the British Poultry Council, told the nearly 260 students who chose to attend the session about “The birds that saved the world”. He explained that because of the rising global population, increase in meat-based diets due to increase in families’ income, the need to decrease rates of obesity and the environmental sustainability of chicken, turkey, duck and goose production, the poultry sector presents a wealth of opportunities.
“We are seeing big changes in the world and what it needs and the poultry industry is going to be absolutely front and centre in responding to that need. And the companies that are part of the British Poultry Council are absolutely front and centre in working for the poultry industry to make a difference to people’s lives.”
“The companies involved in the BPC scholarships scheme represent about 90 per cent of the UK poultry industry. So the industry is absolutely committed to offering these scholarships, which are a combination of a contribution of £4,500 towards fees in the year the scholarship is awarded, with the possibility of that being extended to another £4,500 for your final year at Harper Adams, and a salaried sandwich placement year with a member company.” Placement opportunities under the scholarships scheme cover the whole sector from breeding to processing.
A total of 50 Harper Adams scholars have been supported by poultry companies over six years, with a 72 per cent success rate - 44 per cent of scholars are either in placement or graduate employment with BPC companies, and 28 per cent are currently studying.
Following Andrew Large at the presentation was Nick Major, Corporate Affairs Director of ForFarmers, representing the Pig Industry Scholarships scheme, organised by BPEX and supported by the National Pig Association.
He said: “For all the reasons that Andrew mentioned, food and agriculture is a fantastic sector to be in, so you should be extremely optimistic after choosing a career in our industry. The second great decision you have made was to come here to Harper Adams. As an employer, the graduates that we see coming through from Harper Adams are exactly the sort of people we want in our business.”
Mr Major explained that the number of companies involved in the pig industry scholarships has risen to 10 this year, covering everything from genetics to feed to pig housing, in addition to production and processing, so the opportunities within the sector are many and varied.
The Pig Industry Scholarships at Harper Adams include contributions towards fees of £3,500, plus salaried placement years with partner companies.
Both the pig and poultry scholarships are open to applications from students currently in the second year of BSc programmes or first year of FdSc programmes at Harper Adams University. Students will be able to learn more about the all of the industry scholarships available, from representatives of each company involved, at the Harper Adams scholarships fair on Thursday, October 30th.