Case Studies

Consider the Poultry Industry as a Long Term Career…

…one whose dynamic and rewarding nature
will match the enthusiasm you bring to it

If you’re keen to explore your career options further, visit ‘Working in the Poultry Industry’ on the Farming and Countryside website. BPC has worked with Farming and Countryside Education to produce a resource for secondary schools all about the industry, including information on careers and teaching resources for schools.

Here is a selection of case studies within the poultry industry. Some are where you can start your career, while others show what can be achieved a little further along the track. Hopefully from these examples you’ll be able to see where a career in Britain’s biggest livestock sector can take you.

Ben - APPRENTICE FARM WORKER

Case Study 1

How did you decide on the poultry industry?

I like practical work and loved the idea of farming.

How did you get started?

I saw the advert on an apprenticeship website and applied. I started with GCSEs but now I’ve got a level 2 NVQ.

What are your most valuable skills?

A good eye, confidence, and hard work.

What do you find most rewarding?

A shed in top condition and the birds looking happy.

What piece of advice would you give someone else?

Don’t be afraid to give it a go!

Charlotte - APPRENTICE MAINTENANCE ENGINEER

Case Study 2

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How did you get into your current role?

Five years ago I was working alongside engineers in my previous role. It looked interesting and I decided to give it a go.

What qualifications did you need?

I started with nine good GCSEs, but as part of my job I’ve gained a Level 2 NVQ and a BTEC National Diploma in Operations and Maintenance Engineering.

What’s a typical day?

Setting up the production lines and fixing any problems. My key responsibilities are fixing machinery safely, effectively, and quickly.

What are your most important skills?

Obviously electrical and mechanical repair work, but a friendly ‘can do’ attitude also goes a long way.

What’s next for you?

The company is helping me work towards my Level 3 NVQ in Mechatronics Engineering, but then I’d like to get into management.

ZOE - HUMAN RESOURCES APPRENTICE

Case Study 3

case_zoe_large

How did you get into the poultry industry?

I had shift management and hospitality qualifications from my previous job but wanted to develop my career, and an apprenticeship offered the right combination of skills, experience, and academic knowledge.

What’s a typical day?

Every day in a HR department has its own challenges, but my areas of responsibility are monitoring sickness, holiday requests, and absence figures, and tracking these as KPIs.

What are your most important skills?

To be fair, consistent, and professional, and be able to multi-task!

What’s the most rewarding aspect of your job?

Helping the production team assist people in need and finding solutions that work for employees and the business.

What’s next for you?

I’m working towards a Level 3 qualification in Business Administration, and then I want to explore CIPD qualifications.

Chris - PEDIGREE PRODUCTION MANAGER

Case Study 4

How did you get into the poultry industry?

Poultry companies gave some lectures during my final year at Harper Adams University College. I’d never considered it before but I found the complexities of the food chain really interesting.

What does your job involve?

I am responsible for the Pedigree Broiler farms, the Farm Managers, the Trial Technicians, the Catching Teams, up keeping the high levels of biosecurity required to maintain our Compartments’ status, managing our Budgets and ensuring we remain within these, planning and managing capital investment projects, in order to continually improve the overall product we are providing.

What are your most valuable skills?

Animal husbandry is vital, but it’s something you can’t learn in the classroom. Also communication and relationship skills.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

Seeing the birds reach their genetic potential and knowing I helped with that.

What piece of advice would you give someone new to the poultry industry?

Don’t be put off by not having worked with poultry before.

GARY - ASSISTANT FARM MANAGER

Case Study 5

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How did you get into the industry?

I had a friend who was a farm manager and he convinced me it could be the challenge I was looking for.

What does your job involve?

It’s all about the proficient running of a rearing farm, but most of my job is learning. I’ve learnt a lot from the farm managers I’ve worked with, and I’m doing a Level 3 qualification in poultry management.

What are your most important skills?

Patience, communication, willingness to learn, and being able to adapt to change.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of your job?

Sending good, healthy birds to the breeding farm.

What advice would you give to new starters in the industry?

Listen to the farm managers as their passion makes you realise how important your job is.

NICK - LOCATION MANAGER

Case Study 6

What does your job involve?

I have to manage 11 of the company’s farms in North Yorkshire, and make sure they’re running as they should. I’m there to help and support the farm managers, and ensure they have everything they need to work efficiently.

What do you find challenging about your job?

Things in our industry are changing all the time this can mean extra work on our farms and can be frustrating for the staff. My job as a manager is to ensure that change is managed positively and effectively and that staff remain motivated and able to invest in their work.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I enjoy traveling between sites and seeing how different farms operate and I enjoy meeting new staff and listening to their views about the work that they do.

What piece of advice would you give someone new to the industry?

Hard work will be recognised and in time pay off.

JAKE - JOURNALIST FOR POULTRY WORLD

Case Study 7

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How did you get into the industry?

I studied journalism and although from a rural background I knew very little about the poultry industry, and it’s fascinating. One piece of advice that I could offer is to do as much research as possible before applying for a job, and especially before any interview.

What is a typical day for you?

I will be out of the office, usually visiting a farm, a processing plant, or a conference, interviewing people or watching people speak. Networking with people is an important part of my job, as is getting out and seeing things for myself. I might take a camera along as well, and produce a short video for the web to link into any article produced.

What’s most rewarding about your job?

The travel and the social nature of the job, as well as the satisfaction of uncovering a good news story. It’s always a good feeling when the finished magazine is delivered into the office.

What piece of advice would you give someone new to the industry?

If you’re looking for an agri-journalism position, and are from a farming background, I would recommend some formal journalism training. Getting work experience and building up a portfolio of work are also both really important.

POULTRY FACT

THE INDUSTRY PROVIDES DIRECT EMPLOYMENT FOR 30,000 PEOPLE

The sheer scale of Britain’s poultry industry and its vital role in the wider food and drink sector make it a great career choice in a front-line industry that feeds the nation. From farm to fork, we need skilled and dedicated people who will take pride in putting food on the plates of the nation.

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