The annual Pfizer Trainee of the Year Award moves into the next stage of its development this year. With financial support from animal health company Pfizer, the competition has become one of the most important events in the British pig industry calendar.
And now, to give it more depth at the grass roots, BPEX has agreed to take over its organisation.
The BPEX Trainee of the Year Award, sponsored by Pfizer, will offer a £1,000 training grant to the winner, and as before this may be used to benefit all staff on the winner’s pig unit.
The winner will also receive a £500 cash award provided by Pig World, and accommodation for two in central London for the awards ceremony, provided by BPEX.
BPEX knowledge transfer managers will play a key role in their respective regions by identifying candidates for the award and producing a short-list of finalists for the national judging panel.
“Bringing in BPEX is a natural progression,” said pig industry training chief Richard Longthorp, who is chairman of the award judging panel.
“With the involvement of BPEX knowledge transfer managers, who have considerable grass roots knowledge of their individual regions, we will be able to ensure a wide breadth of candidates from a range of pig units — small, large, corporate, family, indoors and outdoors.”
The move to the BPEX Trainee of the Year Award follows a meeting at which Pig World, Pfizer and BPEX considered ways to build on the award’s growing profile as a major event in the industry calendar.
Much of the success of the industry award, which was founded by training group Agskills a decade ago, is due to the long-term support of Pfizer.
“I am delighted that we have found this excellent way to build greater organisational depth into the award by bringing in the skills and resources of BPEX,” said Pfizer’s Marcon Tigges. “Pfizer will continue to play an important role — we have been involved with the start and are keen to continue supporting pig sector skills.”
BPEX skills development manager Tess Howe said, “The knowledge transfer team at BPEX have always supported the award by encouraging suitable candidates to enter, and they are highly motivated by the prospect of having an even greater role in future.
“The award is the highly visible pinnacle of all that we have been seeking to achieve in the industry over recent years in providing resources for professional development, improving career opportunities and stepping up productivity in the national herd.”
Under Pfizer and Pig World’s watch, the award presentation ceremony has moved from being an informal ad hoc occasion to a high profile event at the Houses of Parliament. It is envisaged the awards ceremony will continue to be an important industry event but details have yet to be finalised.