Next month, the 21-year-old New Plymouth resident, who is currently Assistant Manager of a Tegel meat chicken farm, will step up to manage a large new free-range farm – which will expand to a total of eight sheds by adding a shed every seven weeks.
It is a role that Henry is well prepared for, having gained a thorough grounding in poultry farming since leaving school in 2014. His employer, Ed Whiting, says Henry is an “awesome and very able employee” who progressed quickly from doing maintenance work and driving a tractor to taking a steadily larger role in the operation of the farm, including helping to employ and manage staff.
To add to his achievements, Henry was recently named as the Poultry Industry Trainee of the Year for 2017. This annual award goes to the top-performing trainee in the National Certificate in Poultry Husbandry course (Level 3), a one-year qualification developed by the poultry industry in cooperation with Primary ITO. The course comprises a mix of on-the-job training, written assessments and attendance at a block course. Henry’s tutors say he was the unanimous choice from a very talented field.
“Henry displayed all the Trainee of the Year characteristics with his ability to complete class assessments and his on-farm capability, but he took all this a step further and utilised his knowledge to help others in the class and also in his workplace,” says Tanya Ingram, Henry’s course coordinator at Primary ITO.
For his part, Henry says he especially enjoyed the management training aspects of the course.
“As a young person who is involved in hiring and managing people, including older people, it was really useful to learn some of the skills and techniques you need,” he says. Henry plans to add to his knowledge and skills by taking the Primary ITO Level 4 supervisory and management course.
“A highly skilled and knowledgeable workforce is vital for the growth and profitability of the industry,” says Michael Brooks, Executive Director of the Poultry Industry Association of New Zealand (PIANZ), “and this award reflects our strong commitment to training and education. It is notable that the poultry sector has the highest number of personnel with Primary ITO qualifications compared with any other agricultural sector.”
As part of his award, Henry was flown from New Plymouth to Auckland to meet the PIANZ Board and attend a lunch at which he was the guest of honour.
Pictured above: Henry Miles, 2017 Poultry Industry Trainee of the Year (right), receives his award from PIANZ Chairman, Adrian Revell.
Media release and photography courtesy of the PIANZ.