The aim was to give students and educators a taste of the day-to-day responsibilities of a food engineer and help young women understand different routes into the industry.
Nestlé UK & Ireland’s project engineer Hannah Whall spoke to 35 female pupils from local secondary schools at Sheffield Hallam University about her role as a food engineer. Whall explained what it was like to work for one of the country’s largest food and drink manufacturers.
She also highlighted the opportunity presented by the UK’s first MEng food engineering degree at Sheffield Hallam University.
‘I’m an engineer, get me out of here’
Coca-Cola Enterprises’ Danielle Epstein, a graduate chemical engineer, took part in ‘I’m an engineer, get me out of here’. This online event invited school students to talk to engineers to get an insight into the challenges and opportunities of life as an engineer in the food and drink manufacturing sector.
Epstein – who recently joined the University Talent Programme in Supply Chain – told the students why she chose engineering as a career. She also explained her first job on the graduate scheme as an asset care system’s supervisor, maintaining production line equipment in the biggest soft drinks factory in Europe.
Both events were part of the Food and Drink Federation’s (FDF’s) Taste Success careers campaign and pledge to support the government’s ‘Your Life’ campaign, which aimed to increase participation in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) particularly among women.
Food engineering degree at Sheffield Hallam
Angela Coleshill, FDF director of employment and skills, said: “Through initiatives like the creation of the UK’s first MEng Food Engineering degree at Sheffield Hallam University and the government’s ‘Your Life’ campaign, we are working to raise the profile of food engineering.
“We are highlighting the range of rewarding careers on offer and the many benefits of working in an innovative, dynamic and growing sector.”
The FDF said food and drink was the UK’s largest manufacturing sector and employed up to 400,000 people. Between 2010 and 2020 the industry we will need to recruit 170,300 people to replace the nation’s aging workforce, according to the FDF.
“Engineering is one key vital specialism we need to continue to grow and remain competitive,” said Coleshill.
Meanwhile, the Food Manufacturing Excellence Awards are celebrating the country’s new generation of food and drink manufacturing entrants with a new category: Young Talent of the Year Award.
If you fit the bill – or you know someone who does – more details are available here.