A report from National Skills Academy for Food & Drink and Improve, the food and drink sector skills council, due out later this month, will suggest that a career in the industry is “just not on the radar” for most young people who are wrapped up in “celebrity” culture and aspire to “X factor” style career success.
Outdated perceptions of food manufacturing as ‘dirty’ and ‘manual labour” are to blame, although the fact is that the industry is high-tech and cutting edge and can offer “the X-factor” and, the report will argue.
Pay is, on average, higher than in many other industries and there is good potential to progress, it will say.
It's also more secure than most other sectors with longer term job security than many other industries, according to the report.
The National Skills Academy is preparing to roll out a ‘Tasty Careers’ project across mainland UK early next year, on the back of the report.
Tasty Careers was piloted in Northern Ireland this year. It saw manufacturers including Dunbia, Lakeland Dairies, Moy Park, Irwins Bakery, Kerry Foods Dale Farm and Cuisine de France send star young employees out to visit schools and give their personal account of opportunities in the food industry.
The Academy would like food and drink manufacturing businesses to put forward articulate, young staff (under 30s and preferably under 25s) to take part in the programme.
Manufacturers wishing to get involved in Tasty Careers should email firstname.lastname@example.org or call her on 0845 644 0558.