Cardiff Met offers skills boost to food and drink manufacturing in Wales 

28/11/2012 10:00 

 

A university has been awarded a major European Social Fund grant to help boost the food and drink manufacturing industry in Wales.

Cardiff Metropolitan University has been allocated in excess of £600,000 to support the development and delivery of knowledge and skills in the food and drink manufacturing sector, via work-based learning modules. The modules will be delivered online and are funded by the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government, offering partly or wholly funded modules for eligible companies in Wales.

More than 21,000 people in Wales are employed in the food manufacturing industry in Wales, across 560 companies. More than half (54%) of those employees do not hold a qualification beyond level 2 (A level or equivalent).

Industry experts have recognised that the food manufacturing industry is struggling to find time to send employees out to gain qualifications, particularly in the rural areas of Wales; making the innovative online learning offered by the project a timely solution to fulfil the needs of the market.

Subjects on offer through the funded modules at Cardiff Metropolitan University include legislation, new product development and food safety, which will be taught at levels 4, 5 and 7. Potential progression routes following the completion of the courses include a Foundation Degree in Food Science and Technology Foundation Degree, a BSc or postgraduate qualification such as a Postgraduate Certificate or a Masters in Food Technology for industry.

Speaking about the need for work-based learning modules in the food and drink industry, Leanne Ellis, Skills Manager at the Food Industry Centre at Cardiff Metropolitan University said:

 “A recent study carried out on behalf of the Improve Ltd Sector Skills Council for food and drink found that food safety legislation is one of the biggest areas of skill needs in the industry.

 “In particular, more food technologists are required to manage increased legislative obligations. The study also supported previous evidence for the need for increased business and management skills as well as a lack of process control skills, such as lean management and stock control. This report also highlights the insufficient supply of food technologists to the industry. 

 “We hope that these unique and innovative modules will not only increase productivity and profits for the companies involved but in addition, develop employees into more knowledgeable and skilled individuals making the food and drink manufacturing industry in Wales both stronger and more successful.”

For more information on the Food Industry Centre, contact Leanne Ellis lellis@cardiffmet.ac.uk