The Government has recently announced plans to create fifty thousand apprenticeships in the food industry.
Jim Paice, the Agriculture Minister, made the announcement during the launch of a DEFRA backed action plan to encourage more apprenticeships and challenge food businesses to change the way in which young people perceive working in the industry.
The food industry is vitally important to UK growth, contributing £90 billion to the nation’s economy and employing over 3.6 million people. However there is a significant skills shortage throughout the food chain and it is widely acknowledged that industry needs to attract more ambitious and well qualified candidates if it wishes to sustain growth and innovation.
Speaking at a recent event Mr Paice explained that the fifty thousand apprenticeships demonstrate that the industry is serious about establishing itself as somewhere that young people can enjoy fulfilling and skilled careers.
Jonathon Pearson, a former apprentice who now works in the industry, believes that many people don’t necessarily appreciate the career opportunities that are available. Since completing his training, Jonathan has achieved promotion and would strongly recommend the food industry to anybody that is looking for rewarding and challenging career.
The Further Education Minister, John Hayes, explained that apprenticeships are a fantastic way for youngsters to access the high quality training that they require to enjoy successful careers. They are also excellent for UK growth since every pound invested generates a forty pound return.
As part of the action plan the food industry will be promoting the ‘Feed Your Ambition’ message to over sixty thousand youngsters in more than eight hundred schools. Careers in the industry can range from farmers and producers throught the food chain to professional chefs and cookery schools.