Bridgwater & Taunton College’s Tracy Clement discusses the very real demanding situations of having younger people interested in schooling for the food and drinks enterprise.
Food production has an picture problem. Too frequently, bright-eyed college-leavers are deterred from pursuing a career in food and drink through the belief of an industry full of repetitive tasks at a conveyor belt, or unsocial running hours with the promise of low pay.
Yet, for those taking the threat of entering into the food and drinks international, thru publications provided with the aid of Bridgwater & Taunton College, this couldn’t be in addition from the truth.

The university’s bundle of food enterprise apprenticeships – which include Level 2 system operator, Level 2 manufacturing chef and Level 3 manner manager – offer the following technology of meals experts a stepping stone towards a a success career in the industry. Heading it all is Tracy Clement, curriculum manager for agricultural meals and land control work-based gaining knowledge of.

Following a latest ‘awesome’ rating for its apprenticeships from the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) and securing popularity from the National Skills Academy for Food & Drink (NSAFD), the handiest difficulty preserving the university lower back is the low wide variety of people put into the device by using employers.

“We are struggling to get food producers involved in these standards,” Clement explains. “They are used to having a migrant populace – low-skilled, low-paid – and getting them to put money into young people and teach them is a tough project.”
Working with the NSAFD

Clement hopes that operating with the NSAFD will open up possibilities to collaborate more with food and drinks businesses. “Employers are paying into the NSAFD, so they need to get from them those [learning providers] they have got accepted, however we also ought to pay the NSAFD a good way to [be approved].”
Working carefully with some of the largest names in food and drinks is key to the university imparting a whole training package deal for the food and drinks enterprise. Somerset cider maker Thatchers, certainly one of Bridgwater & Taunton university’s maximum common collaborators, is one such organisation. As Clement explains: “Thatchers Cider has been simply outstanding. They were our apprentice organization of the year, taking up our first food and drinks technique operators, and they have sensibly taken our advice and long past for that because the base programme [for training staff].

“From that Level 2, they will then decide who’s going to enter food engineering or who is going to head directly to Level three and use that as a baseline to clear out, type and educate – and they’re doing an notable task.”

While the university also works closely with ABP, The Vegan Pantry, Filbert’s Fine Foods and Mastan Foods, it struggles to get meals producers worried with apprenticeship requirements or convince them to recognize and utilise the Apprenticeship Levy to its fullest capability. Since its advent in 2016, more than one employers have misunderstood the Levy, claims Clement.

“Many of the massive groups I’ve spoken to simply treat the Levy as a tax and don’t get concerned or fear about it. So, it’s approximately getting the word out and pronouncing, ‘Look, those programmes are available, you’ve were given your Levy, so why not spend it?’
“If you’re a smaller corporation, you then’re going to be paying just 5% of the value of the education. We provide all the education, the aid and you may have a far greater strong base of personnel and people to upskill later on.”

Highlighting career opportunities
Yet, irrespective of how hard the university works to craft industry-leading training publications, the problem stays that schools are definitely not doing sufficient to highlight to students the profession opportunities available in
foods and drinks. “The careers advice in schools doesn’t really exist,” Clement laments. “The colleges want them to do A-levels and/or move directly to university. The preferred understanding of the roles which might be available and what they pay doesn’t appear to get via to younger humans.

“The fact that there are proper jobs in meals manufacturing seems to be a completely poorly stored mystery – mainly for kids.”
This has had a knock-on effect at the publications the university has been able to provide. A loss of numbers brought about it shutting down numerous full-time food era guides, a frame blow to an industry that wishes all of the technologists it is able to get. Worse nonetheless is the poor handling of food technology by number one and secondary education, Clement claims.

“Food era as a GCSE is a misnomer – the food tech [taught in schools] is not scientifically analysing nutrition and components in merchandise. These are extraordinarily paid jobs, however no one applied [for the courses].”
Ageing populace in butchery

A top example of the shortage of hobby younger human beings have inside the foods and drinks enterprise is butchery, that is feeling the effects of an growing older population. With the average age of a butcher within the 60s, Clement and her crew have the hard venture of making these jobs appealing to the next technology.
“It’s very hard to provide an explanation for to a sixteen-12 months-vintage, ‘Well, why don’t you go and be a butcher in a large food processing plant ?’. It’s not the very best promote,” she says. “But we’ve had massive achievement with students who’ve struggled at school, have additional learning desires, were just looking for an earnings, didn’t recognize what to do and have come thru the Job Centre.

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