A LEADING Welsh college has signed up to a national scheme designed to support employment and skills in the food and drink industry.
Coleg Cambria, which has sites in Wrexham, Deeside, Llysfasi and Northop, has backed the Food and Drink Careers Passport initiative, which will provide training and qualifications in areas including food handling, health and safety and allergens awareness.
Work-based Learning Manager Kate Muddiman attended the launch, held at the House of Commons in London, and said: “Given the demand for new recruits in this sector the scheme will hopefully go some way to helping bridge the gap while supporting candidates through experience and education.
“Many of the UK’s biggest companies have pledged their support and there will be a focus on online learning so it will be an accessible and flexible way to explore opportunities in the industry and further afield.”
She added: “At Cambria we are well connected to the sector, in our region and nationally, so we are proud to support this and play our part in helping to shine a light on the amazing careers to be had in the food and drink arena.”
Launched by the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink (NSAFD) and the Food and Drink Federation (FDF), the Careers Passport will speed up interview short-listing and job onboarding, saving time and money for manufacturers, and fast-tracking eager and committed new talent.
There are currently 6.3 vacancies per 100 employers in food and drink manufacturing – 50% more than the national average. This initiative is an important step in helping industry tackle that issue.
Louise Cairns, Chief Executive of the NSAFD, said: “The Careers Passport represents a step change in how the industry is opening its doors to eager new talent. It’s positive proof that Passport holders have made a choice to seek a career in food and drink and put the work in to prove it.
“More and more companies are recognising the value the Passport offers – both to their business and to jobseekers.
“Alongside the FDF, we’ve been delighted by the weight of industry interest and involvement to date and we’re certain the official launch will make the Passport a familiar part of future recruitment strategies.”
Among the businesses supporting the scheme are Mars, Coca-Cola, Britvic, Pukka and Premier Foods.
For more information, visit the website: www.fdcp.co.uk.
Visit www.cambria.ac.uk for the latest news and information from Coleg Cambria.