Food for thought from new degree

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YOUNG people seeking fast-track careers into the food and drink industry are being invited to sign up to a new four-year course being launched by Sheffield Hallam University on Thursday.

Hallam’s food engineering degree is an industry first, and classes will begin in September 2014.

Graduates will work towards a Masters qualification and will have the experience of work placements at leading companies such as Mars, McCains, Nestle, Pork Farms and United Biscuits.

The launch event at the Mercure St Paul’s Hotel will feature a keynote speech by Minister for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, David Heath, and will be attended by leading industry representatives.

Companies attending the event will be given an insight into the new degree and find out how they can get involved.

The plan is to create employment-ready engineering graduates for the food and drink manufacturing industry, which employs around 400,000 people across the UK.

It’s expected that companies will need around 137,000 new recruits by 2017 to replace those retiring or leaving the industry.

Dr Martin Howarth, head of engineering and mathematics at Hallam, said: “This project builds on our strong track record of providing excellent engineering education in partnership with leading industrial employers.

“Our aim is nothing less than to ensure food industry engineering gains the same standing among would-be graduates as aerospace or automotive engineering.”