Premier Foods in bid to help STEM skills take-off

Premier Foods backed the event to help STEM skills take off

Premier Foods showcased food manufacturing to Lincolnshire school children at an event designed to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects this week.

Staged at RAF Scampton, Lincolnshire – home of the Red Arrows display team – on Monday June 13, the event aimed to persuade girls to study STEM skills.

As part of Premier Foods’s presentation, more than 60 children took part in exercises that demonstrated the firm’s kitchen-to-plant manufacturing process.

In the ‘supernoodle challenge’, children were asked to mix, cut and fry noodles before tasting them, a process that was loosely based on the process Premier’s engineers use.

TV quiz show Countdown presenter Rachel Riley was also at the event and gave advice to children and highlighted career options available to them when taking STEM subjects.

Women are certainly under-represented in STEM subjects and that’s from an early age,” said Riley.

‘Dropping those barriers’

Today is about dropping those barriers – just ignore them, they’re fictional. If you’re a girl, if you’re a boy and you enjoy a subject, go and do it.”

The event was run by RAF Scampton in association with the Education Business Partnership and has run annually for the past three years.

Other big businesses taking part at the event included car manufacturers Aston Martin and Landrover, as well as mobile communications company Siemens.

Skills gap increase

The latest shortfall of skilled workers in the industry was likely to be revised up from 107,000 to 130,000 people between now and by 2025, according to the National Skills Academy for Food & Drink.

Initiatives to promote STEM skills and encourage more women into the sector were praised by the Food and Drink Federation (FDF).

Scale of the skills gap

FDF competitiveness director Angela Coleshill highlighted the scale of the skills gap facing the sector.

“Food and drink manufacturing will require 130,000 new workers by 2024 to meet the needs of a growing sector requiring more highly technical skills,” said Coleshill.

FDF members have committed to increase the amount of apprentices as a percentage of the workforce in the food and drink manufacturing sector from 1% to 3% by 2020.

“FDF members see this as a key enabler to growing a stronger talent pipeline in our sector.”

Meanwhile, the lack of workers with STEM skills was not a result of problems with the British education system but due to employers unwillingness to offer high wages to suitably skilled workers, according to the University of Warwick.

Dr Thijs van Rens, associate professor in the University of Warwick’s department of economics and lead researcher, said the market wages did not reflect the demand for different types of skills.

“Businesses complain about the lack of workers with STEM skills but are unwilling to raise wages for these workers – or reduce wages for workers with skills that are less in demand,” said Rens.


Rachel Riley – Countdown Host

Today is about dropping those barriers – just ignore them, they’re fictional. If you’re a girl, if you’re a boy and you enjoy a subject, go and do it.”

FoodManufactureJobs Set up a Job Alert

Related News

Don't miss our photogallery of people moving to new food and drink industry jobs

People moving to new food and drink industry jobs

The food and drink sector will need to recruit 130,000 new employees by 2024

Attracting food industry talent ‘never more urgent’

Lord Sainsbury’s recommendations to plug the skills gap were welcomed by the EEF

Manufacturers welcome technical education plan

Schools should be doing more to promote skilled workers, said industry experts

Experts slam schools for lack of skilled workers

Premier Foods’s Sweet Treats sales climbed by 2% in the first quarter

Premier Foods’s strategy ‘is paying off’, claims boss

George Eustice visited Premier Foods's Ambrosia site

George Eustice visits renewed Ambrosia site

'How can we get more kids into engineering?' asks Neutronic Technologies

Food sector needs more engineers urgently

Nestlé boss Fiona Kendrick is president of the Food and Drink Federation

Food industry ‘needs to recruit more women’

Premier Foods ceo Gavin Darby blamed falling sales on warm weather

Premier Foods blames falling sales on warm weather

A review of pay scales at Cott Beverages could see skilled workers worse off, claimed a workers' representative

Pay fears for drinks factory staff

IGD has reach 17,000 young people this year with its Feeding Britain's Future initiative

IGD skills programme reaches 17,000 young people

Getting young girls interested in STEM subjects could help bridge the gender pay-gap

Focus on STEM subjects could solve gender pay-gap

Grocery think-tank IGD identified eight key skills for students looking to kick start their food and dink careers

Food industry employability skills – photogallery

Simon Spanyol gave examples of lean manufacturing best practice from his many years’ experience at Mars

Skilled managers ‘vital for lean manufacturing’

New CBI survey reports UK businesses are stable, but there are growing concerns over skills shortages

UK businesses ‘stable’ but skills shortage fears growing

Food manufacturers should not target competitors' workers as a means of plugging the skills gap

Skills boss sets out scale of food industry challenge

Businesses could face a new charge of £1,000 a year for sourcing skilled staff from non EU countries

Business bosses slam government’s ‘skills charge’

Apprenticeships have a key role to play in plugging the skills gap, our panel concluded

Apprentices will help to fill skills gap: Foodex debate

Last year, over two million children and teenagers took part in BNF's Healthy Eating Week

Families outstrip celebrities as children’s healthy living role models

Related Products

See more related products

Submit a comment

Your comment has been saved

Post a comment

Please note that any information that you supply is protected by our Privacy and Cookie Policy. Access to all documents and request for further information are available to all users at no costs, In order to provide you with this free service, William Reed Business Media SAS does share your information with companies that have content on this site. When you access a document or request further information from this site, your information maybe shared with the owners of that document or information.