Scotland goes back to school to win food skills fight

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Young people Food supply chain Scotland Food

Walkers Shortbread is helping to equip Scotland's young people for jobs in the food industry
Walkers Shortbread is helping to equip Scotland's young people for jobs in the food industry
Leading food manufacturers in Scotland are backing a new qualification aimed at nurturing future industry talent in schools and colleges.

Firms such as Walkers Shortbread and Kettle Produce have helped form a course enabling young people to understand the food supply chain and the career opportunities it offers.

The scheme will lead to a Skills for Work qualification developed by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) and supported by the Scottish Food and Drink Federation (SFDF) Schools Programme.

It is designed to highlight the variety of jobs the industry provides and the science, technology and legislation behind food production and give young people talents of practical use to employers.

Hands-on experience

The course will also encourage schools and colleges to foster relationships with food and drink businesses so schoolchildren can get hands-on experience with local companies.

“We are committed to providing qualifications that develop the employability skills of the people undertaking them,”​ said Dr Janet Brown, SQA ceo.

“Scotland’s food and drink sector is widely regarded as a fantastic success story and we want to ensure that we are playing our part, enabling young people to enter the sector with the right skills, knowledge and experience to succeed in their chosen careers.”

‘Skills for life’

SFDF director Dr Colette Blackwell said: “Students who achieve this qualification will gain useful insight into what it is like to work in a food and drink business while having opportunities to develop skills for life, learning and work …​ 

“At SFDF we are looking forward to working with SQA and schools across Scotland to deliver this qualification and encourage more people to consider a career in this innovative, thriving industry.”​ 

The qualification, which is credit rated on the Scottish Credit and Qualification Framework at level 5, was launched at Bathgate Academy in West Lothian on February 26. It will be available to schools and colleges later this year.

For more on the best job opportunities in food and drink manufacturing, visit FoodManJobs​.

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