Scotland announces £390,000 to educate young people on food and farming careers

Employability Minister Jamie Hepburn visited a school to announce £390,000 for food education (Photo: @scotgoveconomy)
Employability Minister Jamie Hepburn visited a school to announce £390,000 for food education (Photo: @scotgoveconomy)

The Scottish government has announced £390,000 to educate school pupils about careers in farming, food and drink.

The funding will allow Food and Drink Federation Scotland to extend their ‘A Future in Food’ programme, which raises awareness about the wide variety of food and drink careers to 2020.

Scotland’s food and drink exports increased by over 11 per cent in the first quarter of this year, compared with the same period in 2016.

Employability Minister Jamie Hepburn confirmed the funding during a visit to Kirkintilloch High School in East Dunbartonshire, at the start of Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight.

He said: “Scotland’s food and drink industry is a vital part of our economy - it is going from strength to strength and has ambitious growth targets for the future.

“Skills and training is a key pillar of Ambition 2030, with 27,000 job openings predicted in the sector over the next 10 years.

“I want to make sure that our labour market is in a position to support this projected growth and supply the next generation of professionals for the industry.

“This programme will help teachers, pupils and parents better understand the food and drink industry in Scotland by highlighting the wide variety of careers on offer along with the progression routes and pathways to access them.”

The funding comes as news that twenty-six leading food and drink bodies from across the supply chain have issued a joint letter agreeing 10 priorities to protect UK food security post-Brexit.

The signatories said they want to protect the UK's 'world leading' food and farming sector. They said trading ties with the EU are 'deeply interwoven', as is the regulatory framework.