The Scottish Food and Drink Federation have invested £180k to fund a national programme to promote careers in food and drink manufacturing.
Flora Mclean, Director of SFDF says “This is a significant investment by the Scottish Government, and SFDF is proud to continue to have a central role to play in helping to make the food and drink manufacturing sector a career destination of choice. It is crucial for the industry’s future growth and success that we attract an adequate supply of skilled people.”
The Food and Drink Industry Schools Challenge will facilitate engagement between industry and schools, providing children with an opportunity to learn about the sector which currently employs around 50,000 people in Scotland and has an annual turnover of around £7.6billion.
The robust plan aims to roll out in both primary and secondary schools and McLean explains that it will “help school children make the connection between the food on their plates, what they are learning in school and employment in our dynamic industry. With rewarding careers in roles as diverse as engineering, marketing or new product development, our industry really is a world of opportunity.”
This announcement comes in the run up to the EEF Manufacturing Week which will bring into question why certain sectors have trouble attracting young talent and attempt to change preconceptions about jobs sectors which some would label mundane.
The food and drink industry certainly suffers significantly from a well documented skills gap. Will the new scheme create an appetite for industry in the young? The proof will be in the pudding.