Next week is National Careers Week (6th – 11th March), which aims to help support young people develop awareness and excitement about their future pathways. Why not join the celebration and use Food – a fact of life’s ready-to-use resources to bring careers opportunities to life for your students?
We’ve pulled together 5 top tips and lesson ideas for you:
1. Use our ‘Careers in Food’ poster to spark a classroom discussion
Employing 4 million people, or 13% of all UK employees, and contributing £115 billion to the economy, the agri-food sector (agriculture, horticulture, and food and drink processing technologies) offers exciting and rewarding careers opportunities for young people*. Our classroom poster can kickstart a discussion with your students about the scale and scope of careers available.
The poster helpfully categorises careers in the world of food into two types, those that ‘feed’ the nation and those that ‘inform’ the nation. Careers that ‘feed’ the nation include growing and producing our food, as well as its processing and retailing. Those that ‘inform’ the nation include advising on nutrition, educating about food, and communicating, for example, through marketing and advertising.
2. Showcase inspiring journeys with the Food – a fact of life careers case studies
Introduce your students to some of the passionate and forward-looking people behind our food and their own personal career pathways using our case studies. Encourage your students to investigate the range and breadth of career opportunities in food, often unseen, either as part of a lesson or as a homework task.
We have recently added some new case studies to the Food – a fact of life website. Check them out here:
- Claire Gibbs, Deputy Head of Food at Charlie Bigham’s: Since joining Charlie Bigham’s, Claire has developed and launched over 60 different dishes in a job she loves. In her case study, Claire shares details about what her job involves and what inspired her chosen career path. She also provides advice for anyone interested in developing a career in the fast-moving world of new product development; “Read, learn, eat, travel, be curious about all aspects of food!!”
- Kate Rose, Apprentice Food Technologist with Mondelez International: Kate says the best thing about her job is getting to learn and understand the science behind why foods (and in her case chocolate!) behaves the way they do. Read about Kate’s career route since leaving school, and the opportunities her apprenticeship has given her while learning on the job, in her case study.
3. Invite external speakers into the classroom to ‘share their story’
Ask a local food business or manufacturer to come and talk to your students. They can provide ‘real world’ experiences and insights to motivate and inspire your students to make informed decisions about their future.
This top tip was recommended by recent Food – a fact of life conference speakers Dr Caroline Millman, Senior Lecturer and course leader for the Food Industry Technical Professional Degree Apprenticeship at Sheffield Hallam University, and Liz Simpson, Lecturer and Education Advisor at the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE).
4. Talk about the jobs behind ingredients and food packaging
Another top tip from Dr Caroline Millman is that when talking about ingredients, food and packaging in a lesson talk about the jobs behind them. Caroline encourages making students think about the journey our food takes and what happens to it before it gets to the fridge.
5. Compare agri-food sector salaries with other career opportunities
Liz Simpson also recommends tasking students either in a lesson or as homework to compare agri-food sector salary bands with ones from other careers that they perceived to be ‘well paid’. Liz says students will be able to see that careers in agri-food can be just as lucrative!
For more career inspiration from Liz Simpson, watch her passionate presentation giving an insight into the different innovative, creative and rewarding careers in food.
We hope these top tips and ideas have been helpful to you. If so, let us know how you get on inspiring your students about the exciting career opportunities in food. We love to hear from you and understand how you use the Food – a fact of life resources in your classroom. Contact us at email@example.com.
Further sources of information:
- Tasty Careers
- Chilled Education
- Countryside Classroom Future Farming
- National Farmers Union - Speakers for Schools
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