RVC Advanced Training Partnership in Intensive Livestock Health and Production
18 April 2012
The Royal Veterinary College is launching a Postgraduate Certificate in Intensive Livestock Health and Production, due to commence in September 2012. This is a new part-time blended, distance learning course that will be of interest to those working within the agri-food sector and will promote the development of advanced level skills in pigs and poultry. Graduates are expected to contribute further to the intensive livestock industries in the veterinary, public health or production sectors.
The educational provision is tailored to meet the specific needs of industry partners, and embraces the whole “animal and food production team”, including business managers, food and animal scientists, and veterinarians. In an innovative approach, participants are encouraged to consider the intensive food system from a holistic perspective, understanding it as a whole rather than the sum of its parts.
This training has been developed from an Advanced Training Partnership grant from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). This was awarded in May 2011 to The Royal Veterinary College, in collaboration with Newcastle, Edinburgh and Cambridge Universities.
Future avenues of training will include a Postgraduate Diploma and Masters, building on the Certificate to include targeted elective modules for career development in, amongst others, animal science; specialist veterinary practice; food industry; livestock production; animal welfare; economics; policy and legislation. Professional Doctorates for veterinarians, animal scientists and livestock producers are also under development.
Richard Longthorp, chair of the AgriSkills Forum said “These new training schemes are very welcome. Over the next ten years we need 60,000 new people across the skills pyramid which exists within the agriculture and horticulture sectors. At the highest skill level, there is a significant number of people who require the specialist research and scientific expertise needed to drive forward productivity and sustainability of food production in the UK. This scheme will provide a vital mechanism to develop those skills within the sector.”
Dr Helen Ferrier, Chief Science and Regulatory Affairs Adviser, NFU said "This is a great opportunity for the farming industry in the UK. We need all the advisers and technicians involved in agriculture and horticulture to be able to engage with cutting edge science, and these training programmes will support them to do so. It's also good to see the spread of skills that will be covered across BBSRC's Advanced Training Partnerships. It is vital that the UK retains the best people and enhances their skills in agronomy, soil management, animal welfare, and many other areas highly relevant to efficient, productive farming”.
Claire Hughes, Company Nutritionist at Marks & Spencer, said “Skills in farming are obviously vital for food security, but we’re very glad that this scheme also includes training in the later stages of food production. To ensure future food security we need to produce enough food but we also need to know how to process it well to minimise waste and maximise nutritional value. With the right mix of skills in the UK we can ensure that the food that reaches our supermarket shelves is of the best possible quality for the minimum of inputs of energy, land and other resources.”
Notes for editors
About the Advanced Training Partnership Scheme
The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) awarded funding for four major new training programmes for industry specialists working in vital niche areas within the agri-food sector, in May 2011. These partnerships were awarded to The Royal Veterinary College, Nottingham University, Reading University and Aberystwyth University.
The four partnerships have been awarded a total of £12M and bring together companies with research and training organisations. Each one will operate under the leadership of an academic institution. Partnerships will develop and deliver specialist training programmes for postgraduate degrees, as well as continuing professional development courses. Each programme will focus on a particular research area, and the four are complementary, covering the full range of food production from soil to plate.
About the four partnerships
Sustainable and Efficient Food Production
Led by the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Science (IBERS) at Aberystwyth University, with Bangor University, the National Institute of Agricultural Botany, and a number of industrial partners.
This training partnership will look to address the high-level skills needs of pasture based agriculture in the UK, focusing on increasing efficiency and reducing environmental impact of extensive beef, sheep and dairy farming.
Establishment of a strategic training hub for the advancement of the UK agri-food industry
Led by the University of Nottingham with Harper Adams University College, Cranfield University, Rothamsted Research, and a number of industrial partners.
This programme has been designed in response to feedback from industry about training needs and will be flexible and responsive, spanning the entire agri-food chain, including soils, water, crops, animals, post-harvest, food and nutrition. The aim is to provide participants with lifelong membership of a vibrant community of colleagues in industry and academia, enabling them to obtain a wide range of technical and contextual skills that can be deployed for maximum impact across the chain.
Food Quality and Health – Sustaining the Future
Led by the University of Reading with Rothamsted Research, University of Birmingham, Leatherhead Food Research, and a number of other industrial partners.
This partnership brings together experts working on the food chain from production to consumption, from academia and industry, focused on delivering high quality and real-world relevant training for the food and production industries.
Advanced Training in Intensive Livestock Health and Production
Led by The Royal Veterinary College with University of Cambridge, University of Newcastle, University of Edinburgh and a number of industrial partners.
This consortium will focus on the pig and poultry industry, to provide specialist training to veterinarians as well as other animal scientists working in this sector.
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The Royal Veterinary College
Established in 1791, the RVC is the UK’s longest-standing veterinary college—with a proud heritage of innovation in veterinary science, clinical practice and education.