Thanks to Kirsty from the Scottish Food and Drink Federation (SFDF) for this guest blog post about the diverse opportunities available in the food and drink industry.
My name is Kirsty and I am the Communications Executive for the Scottish Food and Drink Federation (SFDF). SFDF is a trade association representing the interests of food and drink manufacturers based in Scotland. My role at SFDF is to promote our vibrant industry through events, press releases and articles, social media and publications.
The Scottish manufacturing industry is made up of lots of different companies – some of which you will be very familiar with and probably consume their products without thinking about where they come from. We have iconic brands like Deans of Huntly with their much loved shortbread; Macsween of Edinburgh who make their world renowned haggis; Nairn’s and their famous oatcakes; and the ever popular Tunnock’s with their famous Teacakes and Caramel Wafers. Some large global brands also have a base here like McCain Foods; Quaker Oats and Warburton’s.
To stay ahead of competitors food and drink companies need to constantly innovate. As a result there are a wide range of exciting and rewarding careers for school leavers, apprentices, graduates and those who are looking for a new challenge.
Did you know that we need engineers to create and maintain the sophisticated technology and advanced machinery that produce Scotland’s best-loved food and drink brands? Or that we need scientists and technologists ensuring our high quality products remain safe, great tasting and nutritious? All of these important people are responsible for enabling the industry to meet consumer demands for healthier products manufactured in the most sustainable way.
However many people don’t realise these opportunities exist and the industry faces a skills gap in these vital roles. There could be as many 30,000 jobs available in food and drink over the next ten years.
If you are interested in a career in areas such as marketing, IT, sales, distribution and logistics or finance, food and drink also could be for you. Many careers in the industry offer the chance to travel and work abroad. Starting salaries are competitive and career progression can be very rapid. You will also get the chance to taste some yummy food along the way!