Boost for Food and Drink Industry as Key Contract Extends

A training programme designed to support the Welsh food and drink processing and manufacturing industry has had its funding extended until the end of November 2022, allowing the programme to work with businesses across all sectors of the industry.

This will also help this crucial sector adapt to future economic and environmental challenges and capitalise on opportunities for business development and growth.

The Food Skills Cymru programme is delivered by Lantra and supports businesses of all sizes within the Welsh food and drink sector, ensuring employees have the right skills and training for their business and the wider industry as a whole. The project also recently hit another major milestone, having supported more than 6,000 training days to more than 2,000 beneficiaries since April 2019.

Commenting on this major milestone, Sarah Lewis, Project Manager for Food Skills Cymru, said:

“I am delighted with the progress of the programme since we started in April 2019. We have now supported Welsh food and drink businesses with over 6000 training days to over 2,000 beneficaries, having initially set ourselves a target of 1,000 training days.

“Our previous research showed that there was quite a lot of skills gaps and technical shortages not only within food technology and food safety legislation, but also in other areas like leadership and management, waste awareness and sales and marketing. However, with the funding available for these business we can help ensure their employees have the correct skills to thrive in an ever-changing industry that is crucial for the Welsh economy.”

One business that has recently received funding support from Food Skills Cymru is Tomos Watkin, a small but ambitious family-run brewery in south Wales. As a result of the funding support they have been approved for one of their brewers to go on a training course to gain the Practical Brewing certificate with Brewlab.

Commenting ahead of the training, Paul Malcolm, Brewer at Tomos Watkin, said:

“I’m not long out of university, where I studied Brewing Science. I always fancied working in the brewing industry, and was delighted when the opportunity with Tomos Watkin came up. I’ve been with the company for about a year now and it’s going really well.

“During the Covid-19 pandemic the company experienced a skills shortage and identified a number of training courses for their employees to apply for. With the help of funding through Food Skills Cymru I am now able to undertake training for the Practical Brewing certificate, as I could not afford to do so myself.

“It is a three week onsite training course with Brewlab up in Sunderland. I am looking forward to learning and hopefully get the qualification which will help me progress in my job role at Tomos Watkin.”

The Parsnipship, an independent and artisan food producer, creating unique and original vegetarian and vegan food in Ogmore Vale, Bridgend is another business to benefit from the training support, having received approval for their employees to undertake various aspects of training to improve their skillsets.

Flo Ticehurst, Director of The Parsnipship, said:

“As a growing business, we are keen to make sure that our staff have the right skills needed to carry out their roles. Our production manager has recently undertaken the Production Team Leading training course via support from Food Skills Cymru.

“The training has helped our production manger to reflect on her approach to managing the kitchen team and put into practice what she has learnt. Her team has doubled in size having taken on new employees in the kitchen so the course has been crucial in helping her prepare for this in order to have a smooth and efficient kitchen.

“The assistance we’ve received via the project has helped support our commitment to the training and development of our staff where we don’t have the in-house expertise.”

Food and drink businesses now have a longer window of opportunity to apply for funding support to help with their training needs as Sarah Lewis added:

“We are thrilled to have had our contract extended by the Welsh Government, which will take the project through to the end of November 2022.

“Our training support covers a range of crucial areas needed across the industry today. We will consider funding any training needs that an individual business may have. Therefore, we would like to encourage all food and drink processing and manufacturing businesses to get in touch with the team today to discuss your staff’s training needs.”

Eligible businesses wanting to access the funding available to support the cost of completing training courses will firstly work with the Lantra team to complete a Skills Diagnostic Tool that helps businesses identify and prioritise training needs. Lantra will then choose the most appropriate training provider from their approved list on their framework to deliver the relevant training at a time and location that best suits the business needs.

The amount of funding available ranges from 50% to 80%, dependent on the size of the business. To be eligible for support, the business must have a production or manufacturing site located in Wales and be able to show a clear return on investment following the training.

Further information is available through contacting Food Skills Cymru on [email protected] or calling 01982 552646.

Food Skills Cymru is funded by the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

Boost for Food and Drink Industry as Key Contract Extends

Next Post

HealthEdge Announces Strategic Partnership with CitiusTech to Enhance Offerings to Health Plans

Wed Feb 16 , 2022
CitiusTech’s technology and consulting teams to augment the HealthEdge core administrative platform with best-in-class implementation, global delivery and deep healthcare domain expertise BURLINGTON, Mass., February 15, 2022–(BUSINESS WIRE)–HealthEdge said today it has formed a strategic partnership with CitiusTech for joint go-to-market implementation and consulting services for HealthEdge solutions in core […]