Whetting the appetite of a new generation of food science and technology students for a career in food and drink manufacturing was the aim of the first of a series of events staged yesterday (November 22) at Leatherhead Food Research (LFR).
About 90 students attended the first of two Student Career LaunchPads, organised by the Institute of Food Science & Technology (IFST).
IFST ceo Jon Poole told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “Some really engaged and interested students attended the event, which was designed to stimulate and enthuse food science and technology students by adding context to their university studies.”
Informal industry mentors
Yesterday’s event ‒ to be followed by a second forum at Campden BRI on November 30 ‒ aimed to offer practical support through the provision of support mechanisms, such as technical information and informal industry mentors.
Mentors supporting the project were supplied by the Food and Drink Federation (FDF), the Food Standards Agency, recruitment company MorePeople, LFR and Campden BRI. They were joined by mentors from PepsiCo, Heinz, retailers Sainsbury and Asda and foodservice firms Compass and Barfoots.
Food science students
The project will involve 16 sector mentors and about 200 food science students from 10 universities ‒ including Cardiff Metropolitan, London Metropolitan and Nottingham University.
Students benefited from the provision of information on ‘soft’ skills such as CV writing, interview skills, presentation skills and career planning.
A wider aim of the two events is to “foster the development of a cohesive student community that can act as a voice and representative group in support of their studies and early careers”, according to the IFST.
Yesterday’s event included presentations from Prof Paul Berryman, LFR chief executive; Prof Colin Dennis, president IFST; Barbara Gallani, FDF director of food science and safety; and Anne Richmond, Agri-Food & Biosciences Institute, Northern Ireland.
After touring the LFR facilities, students were invited to learn more about specific topics such as: food sensory, innovation, nutrition and food safety.
Universities taking part
- Bath Spa
- Cardiff Metropolitan
- Harper Adams
- London Metropolitan
- Nottingham University
- Oxford Brookes
- Reading University
- Sheffield Hallam
- Southbank University