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In a supporting document released alongside yesterday’s (11 May) speech, the Government announced a new Lifetime Skills Guarantee, but little mention was given to its role in providing food and drink sector training.

Food and Drink Federation (FDF) innovation and skills policy manager Mark Corbett was disappointed that the scheme had not been extended to cover food and drink processing.

“There are almost 400 funded courses covered by the Lifetime Skills Guarantee, but none which relate to the manufacturing of food and drink, this is despite our industry requiring a further 140,000 new recruits by 2024,”​ he said.

“The food and drink industry is the largest manufacturing sector, and continues to grow at a time when many sectors are struggling.

“The government must look at introducing further courses that support what is a vital and resilient part of the UK economy and allows businesses to employ people with the right skills and improve their career prospects.”

Junk food ad ban

The supporting document also announced a ban on junk food adverts before the 9pm watershed on TV and a total ban online.

The Government will also restrict the promotion of food and drink high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) in retailers from April 2022. Secondary legislation will be introduced that will require out-of-home businesses with 250 or more employees to carry calorie labels on the food they sell.

Commenting on the restrictions, British frozen food Federation chief executive Richard Harrow said they would prove popular to campaigners, the move would do little to sway consumers away from HFSS foods or address long-term obesity issues.

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