Posted 11 August 2008
The UK food industry is in the grip of a skills shortage. Food and drinks firms are crying out for potential employees who have a technical understanding of production and processing methods, with approximately two vacancies per suitably qualified graduate.
And it is estimated that by 2014 there will be approximately 118,000 extra food manufacturing jobs needing to be filled.
Harper Adams University College has stepped up to the challenge of filling the gap by launching a new foundation degree in food studies.
This vocationally-focussed course will provide students with the ability to start their career within the food industry at supervisory level – the level at which the skills shortage is currently hitting hardest.
This course is aimed at school leavers looking for a career in the food industry, and is also a means of gaining an HE qualification for those already working in it. It provides a theoretical understanding of food and the food marketplace and, importantly, a hands-on understanding of food processing technologies.
“Foundation degrees have a tremendous potential to fill the skills shortage and would contribute to increased business productivity by raising the skills, knowledge and qualifications of higher technicians, associate professionals and many managers in the sector,” says Senior Tutor Dr Annette Creedon.
“The FdSc/HND Food Studies will develop graduates who have this technical knowledge and who understand the food industry. Consultation with regional and national food companies has provided clear evidence of support for this course.”
The course can be accessed in different ways. School leavers can study a full time sandwich course over three years, with a 12-month placement in year two. Those already in work can study part-time on a day release basis or through a mixture of modular taught lectures and distance learning.
Students can also join the course via the new Extended Foundation Degree Programme, which replaces Access at Harper Adams, and also have the option of topping up to a Batchelor degree on completion of the FdSc/HND.
Dr Creedon added: “Harper Adams is uniquely placed to provide this course, with vast experience in the successful provision of Higher Education at Foundation/HND level and, thanks to the on-campus working farm, access to the entire food chain from Field to Fork.”
In addition to the farm - with dairy, beef, sheep pig and poultry units - Harper Adams University College boasts many excellent teaching and support facilities including the modern, eco-friendly Bamford Library, The ASPIRE Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and The Princess Margaret teaching laboratories.
As this course has just been approved, it is not being offered through Clearing but will be running from this autumn; therefore applications are now being welcomed. This might just be the career move some Clearing candidates are looking for.
For more information about the course and entry requirements contact Course Manager Ralph Early on 01952 815365, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org