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New UK Food Industry Training Scheme

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New UK Food Industry Training Scheme

New UK Food Industry Training Scheme
May 25
15:41 2011

Leatherhead Food Research has joined forces with Reading University, Birmingham University and Rothamsted Research to launch an exciting new training scheme for the UK food industry. The four expert institutes have formed an Advanced Training Partnership (ATP) which has been awarded £3m by the Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) to fund new training programmes for scientists working in the food industry.

“Combining Leatherhead’s food industry knowledge with Rothamsted’s agricultural expertise and the academic excellence of Reading and Birmingham Universities is a recipe for success,” points out Dr Paul Berryman, chief executive of Leatherhead Food Research. “Scientists in the UK food industry need total flexibility to satisfy their training needs. This new ATP offers short courses, MSc’s and the novel Professional Doctorate, which includes both work-based and university research. We asked our 1500 member companies if they would support the ATP approach and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. With new skills, the UK will be able to contribute towards national and global food security.”

The skills gap in the UK agri-food industry is well recorded and will increase in the future as food production and consumption becomes more challenged by the pressures of environmental change, population growth, poor nutrition and competition for use of land. The BBSRC is funding four ATPs to address the skills gaps and training needs of scientists working in the UK agri-food industry through post-graduate training. This ATP will focus on Food Quality & Health.

Tony Hines, Leatherhead’s head of Food Security, who played a key role on the ATP development team, says: “This is the most exciting and innovative development in food industry training for the last 30 years. This is a totally new and unique initiative for the UK’s food industry to meet the technical, environmental and sustainability issues of population growth and climate change. The food industry can now identify the high fliers of tomorrow and support them.”

Funding from the BBSRC will support the ATP for five years in the first instance, together with contributions from the industry partners. The programme is expected to develop a sustainable business model beyond the initial funding period, responding to industry needs and changes in the technical and market environments.

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