New food degree apprenticeships to boost sector’s productivity

The next generation of food entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to combine a high quality degree and on-the-job training under plans for new degree apprenticeships, Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss has announced.

The creation of the degrees will help safeguard the UK’s position as a world leader in high-tech food innovation which has seen us give the world tinned food, fizzy water and the chocolate bar.

Today the UK produces more new food and drink products each year than France and Germany combined.

Truss said: “We have a proud heritage in food innovation – from Fry’s first ever chocolate bar to HP Sauce. Today Britain outstrips France and Germany when it comes to exciting new food and drink inventions.
Food and farming should be a top career destination for our young people, as prestigious as medicine, as fun and stimulating as the gaming industry and as cutting-edge as London’s Tech City.

“We are already seeing more skilled workers enter the industry – rising faster than other areas of manufacturing – and these new degree apprenticeship schemes will provide an even brighter future in an industry that generates billions of pounds for our growing economy.

“The three apprenticeships – spearheaded by the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink (NSAFD) – are being developed by a consortium of employers and industry representatives working to enhance the sector’s productivity. 

Last year the Government announced a target to treble the number of apprenticeships in food and farming by 2020 and the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) has estimated 109,000 new recruits are needed by 2022 in the food industry alone.
Skills Minister Nick Boles said: “It used to be that some careers were only an option if you went to university – we’re changing that with degree apprenticeships. They give young people the chance to get on in life like never before and ensure businesses have the talented workforce they need to grow.

“Over the last couple of months I’ve been meeting talented apprentices working in the food sector – from Nestle to Rick Stein’s, apprenticeships are a real alternative for those who want to start their careers in this ever growing industry.


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