A4S is continuing throughout 2014 in a bid to inspire young people to consider a career in the food and beverage industry.
In addition to the first event which took place at Holbeach, Universtity of Lincoln on the 19th March 2014, further A4S events will take place at:
• Sheffield Hallam: 3 April 2014
• Nottingham University: 3 July 2014
• Wigan UTC: 16 July 2014
Andy MacPherson, National Team Manager – Food and Beverage at Festo Ltd, said: "It’s a well known fact that there is a demographic time bomb in the food industry and it’s clearly recognised that the industry has a need to better promote the opportunities that exist.
"Historically the food industry has not been seen as attractive to young people due to a failure to communicate the type and amount of engineering in food factories, the range of diverse careers that exist, and the rewards available. It is great to see that suppliers to the industry are taking up the challenge of supporting Appetite for Skills and we would encourage local companies to get involved as it is a great vehicle to engage local school children with local food manufacturing businesses."
Minister for Skills and Enterprise, Matthew Hancock added: "The food and drink industry is facing a pressing skills gap and it is critical that businesses take action to engage and attract young people into the sector.”
Appetite for Skills, led by the publishers of Food Processing is taking such action by partnering with food engineering companies and end users to deliver engagement events at various universities and colleges that specialise in the food sector.
One student who attended A4S said “I didn’t realise there is so much engineering in food. [Appetite for Skills] was fun and helped me understand the processes.”
A4S consultant, Peter Whitfield, observed: “With an annual turnover of more than £70billion, the food and drink sector has continued to grow throughout the recession. However, there is a critical skills gap in the industry, particularly in engineering. The sector needs young people with a passion for STEM subjects to consider the opportunities of an engineering career within this exciting sector.”