Food manufacturers are facing a skills time bomb as many engineers edge towards retirement, there is little new blood in the pipeline to replace them.
That’s the view of Justine Fosh, chief executive of the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink, who said the industry was finally “waking up to the challenges of the future”.
Despite that, in this exclusive podcast for FoodManufacture.co.uk, Fosh said more manufacturers were needed to support the first accredited engineering degree for food and drink manufacturing.
A key component of the degree – which starts next September at Sheffield Hallam University – is work placements which are being offered by manufacturers. So far 27 have been pledged, but 40 are needed.
Hear why Fosh thinks this degree is crucial for food and drink manufacturing and why she doesn’t believe simply seeking to recruit engineers from other industries is a recipe for success.
Fosh was speaking at the official launch of the degree in Sheffield on February 7.