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Owen Paterson MP learns about food industry jobs

Owen Paterson MP learns about food industry jobs

Owen Paterson, secretary of state for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, has been learning about the opportunities on offer in the UK food manufacturing industry during a series of recent events.

Mr Paterson visited both the Cadbury factory and the Big Bang Fair in Birmingham last week to find out what has been going on in the sector and learn about the work being done by individuals.

During his visit to the Bournville-based chocolate manufacturer, Mr Paterson got the chance to see young engineers in action, while also getting the opportunity to find out what the British food industry is doing to attract the next generation of skilled employees.

At the Big Bang Fair - which celebrates the work young people are doing in relation to science, maths, engineering and technology in the UK - the MP visited the Food and Drink Federation's Taste Success: A Future in Food stand to see how the campaign is working with students, parents and teachers to advertise careers in the food industry in a positive light.

The Taste Success programme has been launched to try to recruit new talent to the sector, as it is thought more than 170,300 new skilled employees will need to be added to its current 400,000 workers by 2020 to meet ever-growing demand.

A number of leading brands including Mars, Coca-Cola, Nestle, Premier Foods and Mondelez are supporting the campaign. 

Mr Paterson met food engineering apprentices from the latter during his visit to Cadbury and said: "Mondelez is doing great work to attract new talent to careers in the food industry. Apprenticeships don't just kick-start a career, they benefit employers and help to grow the economy."

In addition to this, a new degree course in food engineering is set to launch at Sheffield Hallam University in September, allowing students to receive specialist training in the industry before transferring the skills they have learnt to the world of work.


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