Sheffield students urged to get sweet on food industry

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A-level science and technology students from a Sheffield college visited a city food plant as part of a programme titled a Taste of Work.

The teenagers from Hillsborough College visited Mondelēz International close to their campus to learn more about applying their chosen subject to a working environment.

Following a tour of the Sheffield site which produces some of the nation’s most popular biscuits and confectionery, the students discussed how their higher level science and maths skills could be applied to a career in the food and drink industry.

The visit comes at the same time as the results of a recent survey commissioned by Mondelēz were issued, revealing that Sheffield’s young people are still avoiding careers in science, technology, engineering and maths as they find them to be uninteresting and intimidating.

Vanessa Smith, head of manufacturing at Mondelēz, said: “Attracting young people to careers within the food and drink sector is one of the biggest challenges facing our industry.

“By reaching out to students who are still at school we have a better chance of educating them about the wide range of jobs which exist within our sector.”

The Taste of Work programme supports students aged five to 19 in understanding what happens in an industry environment and how this relates to the subjects they study in schools and colleges.

Every year the initiative, funded by The Cadbury Foundation, organises a number of careers days across Sheffield and Rotherham, and this year aims to reach more than 1,750 students.

The Sheffield survey found that pupils regarded science subjects as harder and more dull than humanities, while girls believed they were too male dominated.

But half said they were more likely to consider them thanks to hit TV show The Big Bang Theory and documentaries presented by Brian Cox.