Prime Minister attends food and drink round-table

The British food and drink industry has estimated that it needs 170,000 new recruits by 2020 to meet demand.

As a means of tackling this, along with youth unemployment, Prime Minister David Cameron attended a round-table to promote jobs and training in the food and drink industry.

The round-table was attended by chief executives of major food and drinks companies, as well as Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss.

Truss commented: “Food and drink is a powerhouse of our economy and our biggest manufacturing sector – but there is still huge potential for growth. We are working hard in government to create more opportunities for quality home-grown British produce, both here and abroad. Accessing new markets and developing the best possible technologies are key to us becoming the best in the world at food and farming.”

Schemes such as Feeding Britain’s Future run by IGD, a research and training charity for the food industry which will provide 15,000 employability workshops this year, were praised by Cameron for their help in reducing youth unemployment: “We have already seen record drops in youth unemployment – and I am grateful for those involved with schemes like Feeding Britain’s Future, which have provided opportunities for training, work experience and apprenticeships and led to real career progression for young people,” Cameron noted.

The event coincided with the first Food Engineering degree course starting at Sheffield Hallam University, supported by the likes of McCain Food, Nestlé UK and Mondelez International.

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