MEAT PROCESSOR Dunbia has launched three dedicated training and development programmes to help 'shape and enhance' the industry's skills base.

The programmes will cater for young people and graduates who want to embark on a career within the sector, as well as supporting those already working in the industry with upskilling and professional development.

Dunbia’s nationwide Graduate programme for 2020, dubbed ‘Brighter Futures’, is seeking to attract graduates into different aspects of its business, including livestock procurement, manufacturing operations, food safety and quality, sales/commercial, engineering, accounting and finance, new product development, human resources and sustainability, during the course of a two-year programme.

Graduates on the programme will have access to dedicated mentors, providing one-to-one coaching, and will participate in a management development programme with 'fast track' career progression. Representatives from Dunbia and Dawn Meats have already been meeting with interested applicants at Graduate fairs around the UK and Ireland.

At the same time, Dunbia’s Highland Meats in North Ayrshire has launched a new Butchery Academy in collaboration with Scottish Meat Training. This programme, lasting between twelve and fourteen months, will focus on developing knowledge and skills in key areas such as product knowledge, learning to identify the different cuts of meat, whilst also developing knife skills in areas of trimming and boning as the apprentices progress through the training.

Craft Butchers from Scottish Meat Training will work closely with the Highland Meats management team in assessing its apprentices as they work toward a Level 2 accreditation in food and drink operations (meat skills).

Another programme of development has been launched in Dunbia’s Dungannon site, in Northern Ireland, where Dunbia has introduced three apprenticeship programmes across a range of functions.

Commenting on the launch of these initiatives, Caroline Heagney-Walsh, Dunbia’s head of HR- Northern Ireland said: “Attracting new talent into our industry is essential for future growth and sustainability. We must ensure that we have engaging and robust training and development programmes to support knowledge and skill development, enabling us to provide clear pathways for career progression and helping develop our leaders of the future."