The UK food industry requires a stream of new talent to enter the sector on an ongoing basis, however trends are showing that interest in food science and technology within higher education has declined at an alarming rate.
The industry has reported skills gaps and shortages in food science and technology for many years. These qualifications are important in the first steps to address these skills gaps and shortages.
We encourage colleges and individuals to engage with these qualifications, to enable the industry in the UK to fill skills gaps.
These qualifications can upskill those already working in the industry, and provide a basis from which individuals can develop skills in this exciting area of the food industry. For example, the level 3 qualification in this suite can provide a stepping stone to both higher education and management.
These qualifications are designed for learners who are considering progression to the next level of learning in food technology training and education. They may be funded for 16-18 year olds as part of a Study Programme, and learners of 24 years and over may consider an Adult Learner Loan at a Further Education College in England.
They offer learners the opportunity to develop food science and technology skills and knowledge that will support a range of occupational roles in the food and drink industry.
The broad choice of qualification units accommodates a very wide selection of roles; such as those in product or process development, technical and specialist management, quality assurance, traceability and testing, product labelling and packaging.
Trained and assessed in a learning or college environment, these qualifications are also known as vocationally-related qualifications (VRQs).
They are designed to support progression to the next level of learning.
Having worked in the meat trade for almost half a century people often ask how I stay so motivated and interested in the business. That’s an easy question to answer – “because butchery is an exciting business to be in.”