Duchy College launched its Centre for Food Manufacturing Excellence last week (14th March) in an event which saw visitors from across the region's food industry gather at the Stoke Climsland campus.
The Centre incorporates the state-of-the-art facilities, innovation and services available at the College including the many full time and part time courses on offer.
The event was split into two sections; one for food producers and the second solely for sea fish producers and processers.
Guests benefitted from a range of workshops and presentations from the Food & Drinks Qualifications (FDQ) awarding body, the National Apprenticeship Service and local businesses who have previously worked with Duchy College. This included Elaine Ead from Choughs Bakery, who also took time to feedback to Food Manufacture and Technology students who had just completed a bread-making practical session, and John Thompson of Kensey Foods.
Activities for seafood employers were supported by Seafood Cornwall Training and Seafish (the authority on seafood) alongside the College’s specialist staff. Those who attended had the opportunity to hear about the new fish and shellfish apprenticeships on offer at Duchy College and industry funding and development opportunities.
The fish and shellfish apprenticeship programme, suitable for all onshore fish and shellfish businesses, has been carefully designed to flexibly meet the needs of employers in seafood processing, retailing and manufacturing.
Chris Shepherd, Training Agency Manager, said: “We are very keen to break the myth that apprenticeships are just for new entrants to the industry. The existing workforce, with their own development needs, can also benefit from the public funding available to support these activities.”
As well as fish and shellfish processing courses, industry skills apprenticeships and proficiency qualifications are also available in dairy, meat and poultry processing, brewing, bakery and food.
Other courses include diplomas in food technology, a foundation degree in food studies, a research master’s degree in food and agriculture, and a range of short courses in food subjects including cheese making, pastry technology, hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP), and food safety.
Dr Liz Whitley, Food Manufacturing and Processing Area Manager, said: “The day was really effective and we hope companies will be able to see the benefits of the range of courses that are available.”
Andrew Counsell, Head of Duchy College, said: “We’re very pleased to launch our Centre for Food Manufacturing Excellence, highlighting the expertise that we can share with the food industry through our variety of high quality courses. It was great to see so many of the region’s food industry employers at Duchy College.”
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