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Institute of Food Science & Technology acts to stem threat to food industry

28.02.2006


The Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST) has taken a lead role in addressing the threat of declining numbers of graduates entering the food industry. Over recent years there has been a drop in student interest in food-related science-based subjects with a marked reduction in students studying food-related degrees. The resultant decline in graduates in this area is a threat to the requirements of the food industry to meet the needs for growth in this essential sector.



As a result of an important Forum on the Future for Food Science and Technology, hosted by IFST in late 2004, IFST along with Improve Ltd (the Food & Drink Sector Skills Council) and the Science Council have initiated an independently conducted project to determine the extent of the current problem faced by the UK food industry (manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers).

The results were significant:


• There is an increasing demand for Food Scientists and Technologists over the foreseeable future.

• More than half of the employers said there is a shortage of people to fill Food Science and Technology vacancies and this is due to a supply problem.

• The recruitment process to fill food scientist and technologist vacancies is taking longer than 2-3 years ago.

• The most prevalent issue mentioned by employers in recruiting to fill vacancies is the quality of the applicants.

IFST President, Jack Pearce, is convinced that the way forward is to improve the supply and quality of people entering this vital sector.

Prof Jack Pearce | alfa
Further information:
http://ifst.org/hottop47.htm

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