Food careers in focus

HUNDREDS of students from across Suffolk are to experience a taste of the types of jobs available in the region's many food and drink businesses. A new Food and Drink Industry Showcase event is to be staged at the Trinity Park Conference and Events Centre, outside Ipswich, on Wednesday, July 5.

HUNDREDS of students from across Suffolk are to experience a taste of the types of jobs available in the region's many food and drink businesses.

A new Food and Drink Industry Showcase event is to be staged at the Trinity Park Conference and Events Centre, outside Ipswich, on Wednesday, July 5.

The event, organised by the Suffolk Agricultural Association (SAA) and Suffolk Education Business Partnership (SEBP), will see around 200 14 to 16-year-olds taking part in a variety of activities to gain a greater knowledge of the sector.

Companies from across the region will be on hand to inform students about the many opportunities available in food cultivation, production, supply and marketing, with exhibitors including Adnams, Tastes of Anglia, the Eastern Sea Fish Training Organisation and Suffolk Coastal Food and Hygiene Safety Team.

Suffolk College and Otley College will also be providing demonstrations throughout the day, with other exhibitors including the Broom Barn arable research centre, the Captain's Table restaurant, Jerrett Tea Ltd and Myjuice UK.

Hannah Williams, education officer at the SAA, said: “This event has been organised after a substantial amount of consultation to identify which industries are facing a skills shortage.

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“Food and drink was found to be one of six such sectors, so an event like this is geared towards helping students fully recognise the wealth of opportunities available in that area.”

Paul Nicholas, project co-ordinator for the SEBP, added: “We are delighted to have had such great interest from local schools, and such positive support from regional businesses in the events first year.

“Events like this are vital in helping us make school-children aware of what potential careers are out there, at the same time as promoting East Anglia's businesses to their future audience.”

The event follows a successful Construction Industry Showcase, which was held at Trinity Park in May and also complements the established Schools Farm Fair event for primary school pupils which has been held annually for the past six years.