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Fresh produce employers invited to shape future of skills

16 March 2011

Fresh produce companies are being invited to help shape skills policy and practice in the sector by joining a new employer steering group

Fresh produce companies are being invited to help shape skills policy and practice in the sector by joining a new employer steering group.

The group is being set up by the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink to give employers a forum in which they can highlight priority areas for training in their businesses and play a direct role in shaping future skills development.

Louise Codling, the National Skills Academy’s skills consultant for the fresh produce sector, said: “Fresh produce is a vitally important sector of the food industry and the National Skills Academy has been working hard to support its growth by ensuring high-quality training is available that meets employers’ needs.

“We are already developing a dedicated network of specialist training providers with proven expertise in the fresh produce sector. The steering group will compliment this by bringing employers together and giving them an open forum to discuss skills needs, how they are currently met and how they can be improved. The aim is to create a working group which will have a direct influence over the way training is provided.

“We believe firmly that meeting the real business needs faced by employers should be at the heart of any approach to skills and training, and that means getting employers directly involved in development and provision.”

Louise added that she wanted the group to include representatives from right across the fresh produce sector spectrum. “It is important that the group is a fair representation of the fresh produce world as a whole,” she said. “We want it to be all inclusive from wholesale to manufacturing and processing. Large businesses to sole traders, everyone is welcome.”

The steering group’s first meeting is scheduled for May 11 at Lincoln University, Holbeach Campus, the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink’s champion provider for fresh produce. To become part of the steering group or find out more information, contact Louise at louise.codling@improveltd.co.uk or call 07827345110.


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