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Skill development in food professionals: a European study
RISE, SP – Sveriges Tekniska Forskningsinstitut, SP Food and Bioscience, Processing.
2015 (English)In: European Food Research and Technology, Vol. 240, no 5, p. 871-84Article in journal (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The food sector is the largest employer in the European Union, yet it ranks low in innovation and few educated young people pursue food careers. Updating both the skills and the image of food science and technology professionals (FSTs) first requires understanding the current situation. This work compares the view of currently employed FSTs (3,007) with that of food science and technology (FST) employers (602) regarding skills and when and where they should be developed. European FSTs responded to a web-based survey in 2011 and 2012, and FST employers responded to an e-mail-based survey and/or attended brainstorming workshops from 2009 to 2012. Soft skills, especially those related with communication, were the best evaluated by both groups, whereas technical non-food skills were in the lowest positions. FSTs were judged qualified by their employers in some food skills (food safety and quality, product development, production), while others (engineering maintenance, consumer and nutritional sciences, environmental issues) were more poorly evaluated. In general, FSTs believe themselves to be well qualified by higher education programs, and most of them do not continue training once they are working, with the notable exception of those that achieve positions of high responsibility. However, employers appeared to disagree, recommending that education and training in soft, food and technical skills continue throughout working life. Additionally, they recommended more frequent reinforcement of soft than of food or technical skills. A competitive food sector requires FSTs of the highest quality, and understanding the view of FSTs and their employees can contribute to improved training and thus benefit the European food sector

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 240, no 5, p. 871-84
National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ri:diva-6860Local ID: 28136OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ri-6860DiVA, id: diva2:964701
Available from: 2016-09-08 Created: 2016-09-08Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
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  • en-US
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  • Other locale
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Output format
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