New scheme to recognise skills in the dairy industry

Published 18 October 11

UK dairy farmers are set to benefit from a new continuous professional development (CPD) scheme that will help to recognise skills in the industry.

Agriculture minister, Jim Paice, recently announced that the initiative will see initial investment from the government of £176,000.

DairyCo are providing the support and manpower to get this project moving using around £80,000 of levy funds and are coordinating a project with industry partners (RASE, Defra, Lantra, NFU Cymru, FUW, NFU, NFUS and Dairy UK) to develop the CPD/Skills recognition register.

The steering group will be chaired by RABDF Chairman, David Cotton, and supported by DairyCo board member Tom Rawson as vice-chair. Mr Cotton said: "I am delighted to have been asked to chair the new CPD programme, for me continuous learning has always been important, being able to formalise some of this training will help demonstrate the professionalism of today's dairy industry."

CPD schemes formally recognise the new skills that an individual gains as their career progresses and uses these to the advantage of the individual, and the industry as a whole. Such schemes already exist in many industries.

The basic principal is that a register is kept which records the training or conference attendance of each scheme member.  To maintain a membership a minimum number of points each year have to be achieved and there are many ways to do this, such as attending a conference for example. 

An individual can highlight their CPD record when applying for a job and this helps employers to understand more about prospective candidates.  Farmers can use their CPD record to enhance their reputation with potential customers and overall the industry can present the existence of a vibrant CPD scheme as evidence of their professionalism and interest in what they do.