Key Cornish food sector businesses met at Kingsley Village today to discuss how to fulfil the industry’s increasing requirement for Food Science graduates in supervisory and management roles.
Organised by Duchy College the meeting is the second in a series designed to encourage food employers to develop their own graduate talent from within their own businesses.
Laura Black, Team Lead for Food Science and Innovation, said: “The food manufacturing sector is fast growing and sophisticated. As a result there is strong demand for well qualified technical people. Through these meetings we are inviting businesses to explore the opportunities to develop graduates from within their existing staff.
“We have many great examples of Food Science graduates who have studied for their degrees at the same time as working. It requires a lot of commitment but it’s a win-win for the under-graduate and the business.”
Philip Farndon, who completed his Food Science degree while working at Lynher Dairies, was one of a number of graduates at the meeting explaining how it worked for him.
He added: “I started the Food Studies Foundation Degree at Duchy College, where I learnt about food safety, food science and nutrition, food quality and food processing. I’m now the New Product Development Supervisor at Lynher Dairies. I didn’t expect to be able to study for a degree at the same time as working. It has transformed my career and the skills I offer my employer.”
Another successful Cornwall-based graduate, Gemma Hearn, who is Assistant New Product Development Manager at Proper Cornish Ltd, added, “I would say to someone considering applying, ‘Just do it.’ You will get all the support needed to achieve your best. It will take commitment to succeed, but what you can learn and achieve far outweighs the sacrifice.”
Duchy College are looking to double the number of Food Science graduates it produces each year to expand the local pool of talent available to employers.
Tracey Weeks, of Crantock Bakery, said: “We are really excited to be teaming up with Duchy College to offer this great opportunity. We will be offering the opportunity of employment alongside the chance to complete a Food Science Degree. This is open to not only our current employees but, will also be included as part of a recruitment campaign that was launched today. It is crucial for our business that we provide the opportunities to upskill the team at Crantock.”