It really should go without saying about how important the Welsh Food and drink industry is to Wales and essential that we are able to attract talented people into this sector.
With Brexit looming large, it is forecasted that by 2022, that Wales will require 4,000 new entrants to enter the food manufacturing sector and to achieve this figure, the industry must be viewed as providing great career opportunities as well as job satisfaction. These tough challenges must be met and students need to recognise what the food industry has to offer in its various sectors, then studying subjects relevant to the industry. As the labour market tightens the food and drink sector must realise they are competing against other growth sectors so it is vital that they are being pro-active to ‘sell’ their industry to students. By working closely with academia and training providers to define and deliver those skills, the Government are accepting these tough challenges, otherwise the growth that is required will not be maintained. A recent conference agreed that assistance must be given to the Welsh Food and Drink Board Skills Work Stream to develop the Skills Sector Strategy. With a further conference early next year let’s hope that this is a successful move forward.
I’ve been disappointed to hear from some in the restaurant sector that some parents do not consider the hospitality industry as a suitable job for their offspring, which is so unlike the continent where it is a respected career move. I hope that with the Welsh Government’s investment and support into skills and training into this sector will also address this issue.
I loved the unusual take by the Cambrian Training Company encouraging employers to show love and care for their employees this Valentine’s Day! That’s such a great idea.
Give Employees The Gift Of Learning This Valentine’s Day
Award winning training provider Cambrian Training Company is encouraging employers to show some love and care for their employees this Valentine’s Day by giving them the gift of learning.
The Welshpool-based training specialist says it’s the perfect time of the year for employers to invest in apprentices to give their businesses the skills they need now and in the future.
For those employers who are new to apprenticeships or have not recruited an apprentice for the past 30 months, there’s a great offer on the table from the Welsh Government.
The Apprenticeship Employer Incentive Programme provides support for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to recruit apprentices aged between 16 and 19 years. The programme aims to provide individuals and employers with the skills needed over the long term and prevent skills shortages.
Support is offered to a maximum of three apprentices per employer and is available irrespective of the level of the apprenticeship. A payment of £3,500 per learner is offered for an apprentice recruited during July, September and January to March and a payment of £2,500 at other times of the year. The full payment is made after the apprentice has been employed for eight months.
To find out more details about the full range of apprenticeship opportunities and training support available, contact Cambrian Training Company on Tel: 01938 555 893.
Apprentices train in the workplace alongside experienced employees normally for between two and three years. Cambrian Training Company oversees training and regularly assesses the apprentice’s progress. Apprenticeships begin at level two – a Foundation Apprenticeship – and progress to level three – an Apprenticeship – and level four and above – Higher Apprenticeships.
The Apprenticeship Programme in Wales is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.
For more information about Cambrian Training click here
“Our Food and Drink industry is one of Wales’ largest business sectors and a Welsh success story. Over 222,000 people are employed within the whole supply chain and in 2016 we exported £337 million; around 20% growth on the previous year. We cannot, though, ignore the issues facing the sector. Brexit, for example, is not just a challenge in terms of the security of our supply chains and ability to export; it also presents a threat to the stability of our workforce. I want to ensure the momentum the industry has generated is maintained in the years to come.
Fingers & Forks
Hospitality comes under the vast umbrella of services providing everything from the morning take-away cuppa to those special event celebrations that are the markers throughout our lives. The months/years of dreaming, planning and saving to have a day that families and friends remember are placed in the hands of the hospitality teams to fulfil with delicious foods cooked to perfection with seamless efficient service, challenging their skills, logistical knowledge and commitment to their craft.
Hospitality is a challenging job requiring a plethora of differing skills from communication & marketing, to culinary, bars and licensed products, housekeeping, understanding and execution of food safety and hygiene regulations, not to mention the eye for detail to make something really special.
So why do so many young people not consider hospitality as a career choice? Training for so many of us is constantly ongoing involving a lot of time, effort and money into an employee who quote: “is just looking to earn some money to financially see me through college/ university to train for a real job”. Could not all students receive training in food safety before they leave school so they are at least ready for the workplace, considering that hospitality seems to be the way of funding most avenues of education?
Within the trade, training options are varied from college courses to in-house NVQ, covering a huge range of subjects, hours are varied, some anti-social agreed, but job satisfaction is high, financial reward perhaps not as good as it needs to be for the skills required, but quietly improving. But until we can attract trainees for whom this is their career choice, vast sums of time, effort and money will continue to fail to realise true potential as we work with a transient workforce.
For more information about Fingers & Forks click here.
Delivering Courses To Support The Welsh Food & Drink Sector
Bridgend College has been delivering full time, part time and short bespoke courses to support the Welsh Food and Drink Sector for many years. Recently graded as double Excellent by ESTYN, the college has an outstanding reputation for quality and support for learners. A thriving Land Based department based at the Pencoed Campus, just off Junc. 35 of the M4 offers a wide range of courses in Agriculture and Horticulture. Food production features heavily in all courses, and bespoke commercial courses tailored to business needs can be designed in consultation with clients. Teaching staff are experts in livestock, fruit and vegetable production, and the department works closely with industry to ensure courses are meeting current market needs.
In addition to courses covering food production, the college also has an outstanding catering and hospitality department delivering full, part time and bespoke courses. From professional catering to food safety; hospitality to tourism, the college can support the needs of the sector and respond to requests for industry linked education and training. A link with the Land Based area has seen an ongoing initiative “From Field to Fork”, which has supported learners in their understanding of the food supply chain. Welsh lamb produced at the college has been served in the college restaurant, with students involved at all stages of food production.
Increasing numbers of employers are choosing to train their staff through apprenticeships run at Bridgend College. Established apprenticeship programmes in Agriculture and Horticulture have enabled local businesses to ensure their staff are well qualified and have the skills and competencies to support their employers in their business aims.
Bridgend College looks forward to further supporting the growth of the food and drink industry in Wales, and encourages local businesses to discuss training options.
For more information about Bridgend College click here.