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Welsh Food and Drink Sector Looks to Plug Brexit Skills Gaps

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Food Skills Cymru has announced this week a list of training providers who will be responsible for the delivery of subsidised training support for the industry in Wales. The new training programme, designed to further enhance the food and drink processing and manufacturing industry in Wales, will ensure that businesses across the country will be better equipped to adapt to future economic and environmental challenges.

The programme itself will be co-ordinated by Lantra, which supports businesses within the Welsh food and drink sector to ensure employees have the right skills and training for their business and the wider industry as a whole.

A recent call for training providers to put their names forward for consideration has resulted in a comprehensive framework of provision being developed offering training in diverse fields ranging from food hygiene to storage and ICT to sales and marketing. Eligible businesses will apply for support and will then be matched up with the most relevant training provider and at a time and location that best suits them.

According to Sarah Lewis, Project Manager for Food Skills Cymru, the variety of training on offer means that there is something to meet everyone’s needs,

“The food and drink industry is a vital component of the Welsh economy but it also faces many challenges. Our package of technical and staff development training courses will ensure that our businesses are well equipped to face future challenges while at the same time developing a skilled workforce.

“Our recent experience at the hugely successful BlasCymru/TasteWales event demonstrated to us the continuous need for bespoke training to enable the food and drink sector to thrive in a competitive environment. The additional heartening element to note is that up to 80% of the costs can be met from our project – very good news especially for the smaller companies.

The amount of funding available ranges from 50% to 80% dependent on the size of the business and to be eligible for support the business must have a production or manufacturing site located in Wales and be able to show a clear return on investment following the training.

One of the successful training providers is mid Wales based InSynch who offer digital marketing support as director Eddy Webb explains,

“In this day and age digital technology is vital in promoting your business but it is also vitally important that it is done appropriately – there can be many pitfalls and we are here to help businesses identify the best route for them. The food and drink industry makes a significant contribution to the Welsh economy and we are delighted that we can play a small part in ensuring it continues to go from strength to strength.”

The expectation is that the programme will  offer training support to businesses up to September 2021 and further information is available through contacting Food Skills Cymru on [email protected] or calling 01982 552646.

The Food Skills Cymru project is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development through the Welsh Government.

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