Training cash for food firms

Posted on 8 Nov 2010 by The Manufacturer

South West England food and drink SMEs are urged to apply for a chunk of a £290,000 matched funding pot to help train their staff.

The money – secured by the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink Manufacturing has secured the cash from the South West Regional Development Agency (RDA) – can be used for training in leadership and management techniques and ‘professionalising the industry’ courses, which focus on helping businesses improve approaches to staff training and development.

Half of the cost of the training will be footed through the fund and the training will be provided by one of the Academy’s approved training providers.

Liz Pattison, head of skills solutions at the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink Manufacturing, said: “The (food and drink) industry is vital to the south west economy, with food manufacturing alone employing more than 37,000 people across 1,200 businesses, many of which are SMEs. In recent years, the industry has experienced rapid technological change and research suggests that it will need to attract 10,000 new recruits in the south-west by 2017, particularly at senior management, professional and skilled trade levels, if it is to keep up with demand.

“We need to develop a highly skilled workforce which will support a stronger and more resilient economy across south-west England. Our successful funding bid offers employers a fantastic opportunity to receive financial support in developing their workforce in several key areas of food and drink manufacturing. The employer will be able to see the benefits the training has to their business, addressing skills gaps and helping them to delve into new markets and technologies.”

For information on how to access funds, email [email protected].