Food manufacturers host students

Seventy female students have gained first-hand experience behind the scenes of some of the world’s biggest food manufacturers.

Cargill, Mars UK, Nestlé UK & Ireland and PepsiCo UK & Ireland opened their factory doors last month to young students in a bid to promote careers in food and drink engineering and give the women a first-hand taste of the food and drink industry – the UK’s largest manufacturing sector.

The exercise was part of the BIS See Inside Manufacturing initiative and a partnership with the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) and youth skills initiative MyKindaCrowd.

The programme delivered site visits with practical challenges for year 12 and 13 students from a range of schools studying A-level STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects. The objective of the visits was to encourage young women to pursue a STEM career in the food and drink industry.

The students not only saw things from an industry perspective, but also got to grips with fun challenges including designing a new chocolate production line and creating an advertising campaign to encourage students to work within the food sector.

Angela Colesill, director of employment and skills at FDF, says, “The skills agenda is a top priority for our industry and we are proud that our members continue to support careers initiatives such as the MyKindaCrowd engineering visits to ensure a solid succession plan for employment in our sector and give these students a real insight into the industry.

“At the heart of this collaboration is the aim to raise awareness for the industry-backed MEng Food Engineering degree at Sheffield Hallam University as well as FDF’s Women into STEM pledge as part of the Your Life campaign, which encourages women to pursue science or engineering careers in food and drink.”

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