Big names in food manufacturing joined training providers from across the UK for the launch of the new Foundation Degree Framework from Improve, the food and drink manufacturing sector skills council.
Representatives from companies such as Young’s Bluecrest, Swizzles Matlow and Taylor’s of Harrogate joined trainers from colleges and universities across the country to see first hand how institutions could be helped to deliver Foundation Degrees that would benefit the student, the employer and the sector.
Jack Matthews, chief executive of Improve, unveiled the new framework at the launch event held on July 15th.
“Food and drink manufacturing has a shortage of people at technical and management levels,” he said. “Foundation Degrees will provide a key bridge between the academic, vocational, and work experience roots into a career in our industry. They fill the long term gap in how we as employers are to increase our skills base, encourage new people into our industry, and build a career path for those who are already employed.”
Foundation Degrees are higher education qualifications comprising mainly vocational content, and aimed at increasing the number of people qualified at higher technician and associate professional level. Research funded by Foundation Degree Forward has led to the development of the new framework – promoting closer collaboration to ensure that courses attract students and produce graduates who are ready to immediately take up specific roles.
“Employers can become involved in a number of ways, from supporting an employee through a Foundation Degree to taking an active part in developing a programme that suits their own business,” said Jack Matthews.
But Foundation Degrees cannot be developed and delivered without the input of employers. With this in mind, the content of the programme is agreed in advance by the training provider and employer to ensure that graduates are work ready.
“Foundation degrees are one way of increasing the skills and confidence of valued employees already working in the business and attracting the right calibre of people into the sector,” said Jack Matthews. “It is critical to the future of the sector that those with innovative technical skills and managerial flair should want to work in food and drink manufacturing.”
For more information about the Foundation Degree Framework, including details of those institutions that have developed the programmes, visit www.improveltd.co.uk.