In this inaugural episode, we discuss the challenges the industry faces when trying to recruit the next generation of food engineers and technicians and the novel ways in which some businesses tackled this problem.
We spoke to Enginuity’s Helenna Vaughan-Smith and Farm Urban’s Paul Meyers on their work on a video game designed to teach school children how to set up and run their own vertical farm.
Learning with video games
The vertical farming-themed version of Skills Miner is the latest in a series of games made by Enginuity using Minecraft – a sandbox game that allows players to build anything they like in its blocky, Lego-like world – that promote skills and career in engineering.
Speaking at the launch of the game at last year’s Digital Manufacturing Week, Vaughan-Smith said: “There is engineering in everything, and if young people can engage with STEM and engineering careers in an exciting and relevant way, they have the capability to change their world and ours. We just need to give them the opportunity to explore it.
“Through the game, teachers will now be able to bring exciting new careers and green skills into the classroom environment and draw the link for students between science, the curriculum, sustainability, future green skills and careers.”
We also discuss the results of LinkedIn survey asking what its preventing school leavers joining the food and drink industry, as well as ways in which the industry could make the sector a more glamour choice to have a career in.
The Food Manufacture podcast can also be found through Spotify, where you can listen to all of our previous episodes.
Meanwhile, training UK workers to be butchers or fruit pickers “won’t fix” the labour crisis if those workers don’t want to do those jobs, the British Meat Processors Association has said.