The UK needs more engineers, especially the food manufacturing and agri-tech sectors. Estimates vary, but for future sustainable economic growth it is reckoned that the UK’s engineering employers need to recruit 182,000 people with engineering skills each year; currently there is an annual shortfall of 69,000 advanced technicians and engineers.
Attracting more foreign students is not the answer as currently about half of overseas engineering graduates return to their country of origin. Post Brexit the option of filling gaps by importing talent becomes more challenging.
For the past 40 years, Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) have provided businesses throughout the UK with the opportunity to accelerate innovation and drive productivity. Funded through Innovate UK, KTPs exist to provide businesses with early career graduates/post graduates and the necessary academic support to undertake ambitious projects that may otherwise not get off the ground. The collaboration of universities with businesses offers a unique opportunity for commercial growth and academic research.
Before my career in food began, I would never have imagined how much work goes on behind the scenes to produce the food and drink we consume every day. My fascination with food and nutrition stemmed from becoming intrigued by food labels when young and later reading news articles on the link between diet and health. Work experience at Dairy Crest gave me an insight into the many different roles in a food company and I then knew that I wanted to pursue a career in food.
The lives of today’s food and grocery shoppers are incredibly complex, calling for deeper understanding, additional capabilities and ever stronger industry partnerships to meet their needs.
For this reason, IGD helps current and prospective employees within food and grocery to thrive in this rapidly evolving world by investing the money we raise through our commercial activities in our industry-focused charitable programmes.