21 June 2012
It is forecast that thousands of job opportunities will become
available in the sector over the next five years as a result of
retirement and expansion.
Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead and Minister for Youth
Employment, Angela Constance, joined forces at the Royal Highland
Show today to highlight the importance of attracting young people
to work in the industry, which is one of Scotland's key economic
The Food and Drink Skills Investment Plan has been developed by
a range of partners including Skills Development Scotland, Scotland
Food & Drink, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands & Islands
Enterprise, Lantra and Improve.
The four strategic priorities outlined in the plan are:
* Raising the attractiveness of the sector to
* Supporting company capacity to innovate
* Delivering leadership and management
excellence in the sector
* Supporting the development of skills for
growth in the workplace
Launching the initiative, Mr Lochhead said: "Scotland is rightly
hailed as a land of food and drink, with our wonderful produce
recognised the world over, and we want to build on our reputation
at every turn.
"Food and drink is a Scottish success story at a time when other
industries are struggling due to tough economic conditions. The
Food and Drink Skills Investment Plan will help the industry
flourish, encouraging closer working between the public and private
sector as well as highlighting the fantastic career opportunities
on offer to young people across Scotland.
19 year-old Morven Campbell from Aberfeldy joined Mr Lochhead
and Ms Constance on the Lantra stand at the Royal Highland Show
where she showed S4 pupils from her former high school, Breadalbane
Academy, what's involved in working in modern
Morven had just completed a Modern Apprenticeship in Agriculture
and was recently promoted to the position of Trainee Farm Manager
at the Strathmore Farming Company based in Glamis, Forfar.
She said: "I love working outdoors, I have never wanted to do
anything else and having my Modern Apprenticeship as well as my
other agricultural qualifications has helped me progress to the
next step in my
Ms Constance added: "Working in the food and drink sector is not
just a viable option for Scotland's young people, it is an
"The value to Scotland of this industry means that there will
always be opportunities for employment, including taking up a
"It is absolutely vital that young people get good advice about
where employment opportunities are coming from and a number of
bodies have come together to craft this Investment Plan that will
help ensure this happens.
"Employers too are set to benefit, as this work will train and
develop a newly skilled workforce needed to compete in the global
market and I hope to see our food and drink sector fully engaged
and ready to maximise the potential of Scotland's talented young
James Withers, chief executive of Scotland Food & Drink
"Over recent years, the number of opportunities for young people
within the food and drink industry has grown enormously and we are
keen to ensure that the younger generation are equipped with the
skills and knowledge required to grow our industry and cement our
reputation as A Land of Food and Drink.
"We need to make sure that we are spreading the word that our
industry is an attractive one to work in and persuade companies
that young people are worth investing in. I look forward to the
Food and Drink Skills Investment Plan delivering on these
Paul McKelvie, Skills Development Scotland Board member and
Chair of the Joint Skills Committee added: "Skills investment plans
are the cornerstone of public and private sector co-operation to
ensure employers in Scotland's key economic sectors get the help
they need in developing a skilled workforce."
* Providing better information about the
skills needed to work in the industry and the range of jobs
available on Skills Development Scotland's online service My World
of Work. Visit the >My World of Work
Food and Drink Industry pages for sample career management
* Running a feasibility study into developing a
Modern Apprenticeship Share Scheme for small, primary food
* Development of new "technical" MA frameworks
for the sector.
* A pledge from industry to MAs and work
placements and the creation of a database of work experience
* Identify circa 500 companies that have good
growth potential who will be targeted by the Scotland Food and
Drink Skills Academy and the Lantra Land-based Business Centre with
the offer of training support.
* Create new undergraduate sandwich course in
food engineering/graduate internships.
Source: Scottish Government Press Release
The Food and Drink Skills Investment Plan will help the industry flourish, encouraging closer working between the public and private sector as well as highlighting the fantastic career opportunities on offer to young people across Scotland.
Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead