Young food entrepreneurs will now have the opportunity to combine a top class degree and on-the-job training thanks to the Environment Secretary’s new announcement.
Liz Truss has announced the development of three apprenticeships, spearheaded by the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink (NSAFD), which will help safeguard the UK’s position as a world leader in high-tech food innovation.
In the past this has seen the UK provide the world with tinned food, fizzy water and the chocolate bar.
Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss said:
“We have a proud heritage in food innovation – from Fry’s first ever chocolate bar to HP Sauce. Today we outstrip 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.”
Last year the Government announced a target to increase the number of apprenticeships in food and farming by a third before 2020, while the FDF has estimated 109,000 new recruits are needed by 2022 in the food industry alone.
The development of these new apprenticeships will bring together more than 30 food food sector experts and employers to challenge the industry, and in doing so provide more opportunities for young people.
Thousands of young people are thought to benefit from the apprenticeships across the EU, through support from the European Social Fund and European Regional Development Fund.
The Government is doubling the annual level of spending on apprenticeships between 2010-11 and 2019-20 in cash terms to £2.5 billion, which will be funded by the new apprenticeship levy.
Skills Minister, Nick Boles said while some careers were only ever an option if you went to university, this is being changed with degree apprenticeships.
He said: "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.”
With the EU being such an important export market for British food and agriculture, the roundtable today will provide an opportunity to secure ongoing commitment from industry to encourage new apprenticeship schemes and highlight the support available to companies seeking to expand their programmes.