The award, now in its 16th year, is judged on the progress made by relative newcomers to the industry, of all ages, through workplace training. It also looks at their plans to develop their careers.
All the finalists will be invited to the annual NFU Conference in Birmingham on 21 February, when the winner will be announced. Finalists will also go to the Egg & Poultry Industry Conference (EPIC) in south Wales, in October 2023.
This is the first time that guest invitations to EPIC have been offered – a joint gesture with the conference organisers which will enable finalists to take part in the full programme of activities and includes hotel accommodation, as part of their drive to encourage more young people to attend.
Howard Birley, EPIC organiser, said: “The EPIC organising committee feels that the future of the UK poultry industry lies very much in the hands of younger people who are just starting out on their careers. We are delighted to support this initiative and look forward to welcoming the successful candidates.”
NFU chief poultry adviser Aimee Mahony said: “We are very pleased to continue supporting this award which helps shine a light on people setting out on their career in the poultry sector. The great thing about this award is that there is no age limit, and it is open to everybody working across the poultry industry.
Importance of training
“Training is an important part of any role and staff investment is crucial for the recruitment and retention of people across the supply chain.
“The poultry sector has a lot to offer people who are looking for a progressive and innovative career and we look forward to receiving entries from those working in the various sectors that make up the poultry industry.”
The £2,000 training grant, sponsored by Zoetis, is normally used for specific training in poultry or career advancement, but the 2020 winner Harriet Smith opted for a travel project learning from the poultry industry in the Netherlands and Canada.
An ever evolving award
Emma Raper, Pig and Poultry Manager at Zoetis, said: “The poultry trainee award has gone from strength to strength and evolved hugely since its inception.
“We see a broader range of roles and companies participating and even more people nominated that have come into the poultry industry either by coincidence or not as part of their original career path.
“We are extremely proud that the award is recognised across the industry and really does translate into finalists/winners earning kudos amongst peers, colleagues and the wider industry. There are just as many nominations from employers as direct entries from candidates too, showing us that employers are proud of their employees and keen to see them recognised and celebrated as such.”