UK food training academy gets green light

By Chris Mercer

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Industry Food

A National Skills Academy for workers in Britain's food and drink
manufacturing sector will open this April, in the latest attempt to
reduce a shortfall of qualified employees.

Government officials this week backed plans for the £4.4m academy, which aims to train up at least 28,000 people in its first four years.

The initiative has been led by Improve, the UK skills council for the food and drink sector, and supported by several industry giants, including Nestle, Warburton's and RHM.

Efforts to train the UK's food manufacturing workforce have taken on more urgency after an Improve survey found a third of those in processing had no qualifications at all.

The Skills Academy, which will cover England only at first, will deliver training programmes through an initial network of five centres across the country - covering areas such as dairy, ready meals, meat, fish and general food hygiene.

It is hoped there will be 200 courses running throughout the UK within four years.

"This is a major new landmark in the training provision for food and drink manufacturers,"​ said Improve chairman Paul Wilkinson.

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