100th graduate trainee passes through UCD management development programme

The 100th graduate trainee has completed a specially designed and delivered management development programme for Dawn Meats and Dunbia at University College Dublin
The 100th graduate trainee has completed a specially designed and delivered management development programme for Dawn Meats and Dunbia at University College Dublin

The 100th graduate trainee has completed a specially designed and delivered management development programme for Dawn Meats and Dunbia at University College Dublin.

The programme, an industry first when it was launched in 2016, was custom designed and delivered by Agri-Food Advanced Professional Development (Agri-Food APD) a collaboration between UCD, University College Cork and Teagasc, the agriculture and food development authority, to further develop the skill set of graduates working in the agri-food industry.

The programme is tailored to the multitude of career opportunities within Dawn Meats and Dunbia. Participants in the 2018-2019 academic year, undertook eight modules which included professional development planning, time management and maximising influence.

Leadership, communication, innovation and lean business principles also form a core part of the training, to nurture and develop the next generation of senior management across the group.

This programme builds on the Dawn Meats Group’s strong record of investing in graduate management training.

The company has run in-house young manager training courses for over 15 years, and has also worked closely with the Irish Management Institute to deliver best-in-class training for its next generation of managers.

Huw Smith, of Dawn Meats Group HR, said: “The Dawn Meats, Dunbia and UCD Management Development Programme combines the latest in academic research with the applied experience of managing a fast-paced dynamic agri-food business.

“The completion of this course should be an aspiration for all our future business leaders and a milestone in their career development.”

Professor Dolores O'Riordan, director of UCD’s Institute of Food and Health and vice-president for Global Engagement at UCD, said: “This is our third year working in close collaboration with Dawn Meats Group, to design and deliver a bespoke programme to further develop the skill set of graduates working in industry.

“The programme is designed to help the graduates to address the global challenges facing the agri-food industry such as economic and environmental sustainability, food safety and healthy diets.

“It focused on developing the skill sets of leadership, negotiation, communication and project management to ensure the graduates would take a leadership role to address these challenges.”

The 20-day face-to-face training is held over 10 months and represents a best-practice approach to collaborative training between academia and the food industry to up-skill and develop graduates in a rapidly changing sector.