Frank Bird Poultry Ltd

Frank Bird is one of the leading names in the poultry industry.

Established in the 1950s, in Langwathby, near Penrith, by Frank Bird, the company employs more than 200 people and is one of the leading names in the UK poultry industry.

The firm has its own fleet of live transport and refrigerated vehicles.

To run a successful business, employees need to be trained so they can do their jobs efficiently.

In 2017, SP Training had a meeting with Frank Bird Poultry to discuss what their business objectives were and training aims needed to achieve those objectives.

Ultimately, the firm wanted to make its transport operations more efficient to increase profitability and to make day to day transport operations more environmentally sustainable.

Frank Bird Poultry felt their drivers needed some additional qualifications – other than the normal statutory Driver CPC.

Lee Hunter, operations manager, said; “It was felt that a formal industry recognised qualification would help with staff motivation and retention.”

The firm decided to use ESF Edge funding to support delivery of the NVQ Level 2 in Driving Goods Vehicle and diplomas in driving a bus / coach.

Staff that took the qualification were a mixture of newly employed and existing staff. .

Mr Hunter said: “The aims were to train the drivers to become more efficient in the jobs they do on a daily basis.

“We have 190 staff at the factory in Langwathby and 40 others in various locations.”

The company wanted its drivers to know how to best prepare their vehicles, how to operate their vehicles safely, how to load and unload their vehicles in a safe and fuel efficient manner and how to deal with customers.

Some of the staff worked at night on 12 hour shifts which meant a change in assessment practice and the need for staff at SP Training to sometimes work nights.

Mr Hunter said: “If people are trained properly it makes our business much more effective.”

The firm said the training programme was well received by the staff and the drivers enjoyed being out with an instructor.

Mr Hunter said: “Some of the training was done with new drivers and this has increased their confidence in the roles they play in Frank Bird Poultry.”

The early signs showed that the training had had a positive impact.

SP Training are continuing to work with Frank Bird Poultry to identify future training needs and combat the ongoing issue of driver shortages through workforce development.