The Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST) has launched a new apprenticeships portal as part of National Apprenticeships Week 2024, supported by EIT Food. The portal is designed to connect young people (aged 16-24) with apprenticeships in leading food science and technology organisations across the UK. The platform can be accessed at the URL https://lovefoodlovescience.org/.
IFST is celebrating its 60 years since its founding in 1964 this year and has created this portal to nurture fresh talent within the food system. The Institute sees no better time than this milestone in its lifetime to be putting the spotlight on young people. IFST is encouraging students and young people to study science, and work in food, a slogan which speaks not only to the leading STEM education available to UK students, but also to the breadth of opportunities available in food science and technology.
Despite a decline in people starting apprenticeships in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the numbers have been slowly increasing. In the 2022/23 academic year, there were 752,150 people participating in an apprenticeship in England; and between August and October 2023, apprenticeship starts were up by 7.0% to 130,830 compared to 122,290 reported for the same period in the previous year (ONS). With the launch of the Apprenticeships Portal, IFST is hoping to increase those numbers and guide more young people into the ever-evolving field of food science.
IFST Chief Executive Tim McLachlan commented “An apprenticeship is a great opportunity for anyone seeking to gain an all-round understanding of the food sector. The IFST Apprenticeships Portal will serve as a fully comprehensive ‘one-stop-shop’, giving young people clarity on the opportunities available to them, alongside key education resources. We want to be clear that we want young people today to ‘study science, work in food’. Together, we can build a solid foundation for the future of food science and technology in the UK.”
Food and beverage manufacturing is the UK’s largest manufacturing sector, bringing around £30 billion to the economy and employing 430,000 people. Sector employers looking to add new talent to their workforce will also benefit from the portal’s innovative functionality that allows easy posting, sharing, and importing of opportunities with the intent to foster mutual community benefit and growth.
Developed under the 'Love Food, Love Science' brand, IFST aims to establish the portal as a vital resource for educators and young individuals in the food science and technology field.
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