Food & drink manufacturers urged to support new degree

Posted on 28 Jan 2013

Sector organisations are calling for manufacturers across the country to pledge their support for Graduate Excellence, the UK’s first accredited engineering degree dedicated to the needs of the food and drink industry.

Graduate Excellence is currently being developed by a partnership of FDF, The National Skills Academy for Food & Drink and Sheffield Hallam University, where the programme will be based.

Some of the many options available for companies to support the new course include offering student placements and providing guest lectures.

The degree has received co-investment from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills through the Employer Investment Fund.

Its aim is to build the skills the UK’s food and drink manufacturing sector needs for the future, enabling it to meet its ambition to grow 20% by 2020.

FDF director general, Melanie Leech, said: “Graduate Excellence will mark a major step forward for our industry by creating a pool of specialist engineers equipped to help us meet future challenges.”

Skills Academy CEO Justine Fosh added: “Our aim is nothing less than to ensure food industry engineering gains the same standing among would-be graduates as aerospace or automotive engineering and we urge companies to commit levels of active support comparable to that provided by businesses in those industries.”

Companies are invited to attend a special launch event for the degree at Mercure Sheffield St Paul’s Hotel on Thursday 7 February.

The event, free to attend, will give businesses an insight into the new degree and how they can get involved.