THOUSANDS of new apprenticeships are to be created in the food industry under a drive to attract more young people to the sector.
The Government said 50,000 places will be offered, with ministers saying they hoped the move would change the way youngsters felt about working in the industry.
Apprenticeships on offer include brewers, master bakers, food scientists/technicians, business managers and chocolatiers.
Food and agriculture minister Jim Paice said: “Our food industry employs 3.7 million people and contributes almost £90bn to the UK economy, but ... the industry must attract more, well-qualified and ambitious candidates if it is to continue to grow and innovate.
“These 50,000 apprenticeships show that the food industry is serious about becoming a place where young people seek out skilled and fulfilling careers.”
Government figures showed there were 213,400 apprenticeship starts in the first half of the 2010/11 academic year, a “significant increase” on the previous year.
Funding for apprenticeships is being increased from £1.3bn in the last financial year to £1.4bn in the next 12 months, enough to train 360,000 apprentices.