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Training Requirements And Careers for Knowledge-based Food Science and Technology in Europe

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Food science and technology in Europe

The food and drink (F & D) industry is the single largest manufacturing sector in the EU in terms of turnover, value addition and employment. Healthier, more nutritious and safer food products can be achieved through research and development efforts in the F & D industry.

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Europe's F & D industry is the world leader in food exports and the leading employer in manufacturing with 4.1 million jobs. To stay competitive in a global economy, the European F & D industry must innovate on a daily basis. A motivated and well trained high-quality workforce of professionals including industry personnel, research and academic institutions, governmental organisations, and retail and catering is key for innovation. Against this background, the EU funded the 3.5-year 'Training requirements and careers for knowledge-based food science and technology in Europe' (TRACK_FAST) project. The main objectives were the identification of training and career requirements of European food scientists and technologists (FSTs) and the implementation of a strategy to recruit the next generation of FST leaders. TRACK_FAST achieved these goals through the identification of required skills for the food job market and the study on regulations for F & D related professions in Europe. An industry-wide survey estimated that over 85 % of food professionals’ work in three main functional areas — quality and safety management, production, and research and development. Therefore, future efforts on identifying skills should focus on these activities. TRACK_FAST initiated the development of a European network for continual professional training and career development for food professionals. The network will offer a certification of the competences to participating professionals. This certification is open to all professionals working in the industry. This will help in choosing the best people for the job, while giving the better prepared professionals well-deserved social and professional recognition. The main results of the TRACK_FAST project clearly demonstrated the need for a further continuous and cooperative effort in training food sector professionals. Ultimately this would improve the image of the food industry and contributing to an efficient labour market.


Food science and technology, food job market, food industry, global food market, career training

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