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Why we took the Food and Drink Careers Passport Pledge

We are proud to be a supporter of the National Skills Academy Food and Drink Careers Passport Pledge which aims to help young people find their career of choice in our thriving food and drink sector. As a company, we work closely with food and drink businesses of all shapes and sizes, and finding the right talent is a common issue faced by many in the sector. We also welcome young people to join our growing team, whether on work experience, student placements or as their first step in a varied and exciting career helping our clients to achieve their growth ambitions.

Jake Tregoning with the BIC Innovation Food and Drink Careers Passport Pledge at the BIC Bridgend Office

As part of our pledge, two members of our team, Natalie Rouse and Jake Tregoning, have been trained to become Tasty Ambassadors, and will be visiting schools and colleges to share their passion and enthusiasm for the food and drink sector.

Natalie said, “I joined BIC as a researcher on the Future Food project in 2019 as a Markets and Technologies Researcher. This has role has since evolved – spanning the research of novel function ingredients, to researching the functional attributes of traditional agriculture, with community food initiatives and insect protein research in the mix too!

It is the variety for me that really highlights the exciting and diverse range of research & development within the food industry; all of which has a great impact on the heath of the nation, the food system, food development and ultimately the foods we see on the shelves to eat.

My role fuses my personal passion of health, nutrition, and the environment. It is continually developing and every day I learn something new! However, it took me a while to figure out the career path I wated to carve, as I never knew all the research roles within the food industry existed for quite some time.

I wanted to be a Tasty Ambassador to highlight the diversity and dynamic nature of the roles within the food industry and with a wealth of career opportunities awaiting– spanning all areas of interest.”


Jake added, “While at university, I started working at a local Cyder farm in Cornwall – this is where my passion of the drinks industry started. I was unaware of all the roles that the food and drink industry had to offer and ended up working across the business and gained valuable experience.

I wanted to become a Tasty Ambassador to make other young people aware of the opportunities that the food and drink industry has to offer. It’s not all white coats and hair nets, there is many other job roles available.

I now work in the marketing team at BIC Innovation on the Sustainable Scale Up Cluster. We support food and drink businesses to grow within Wales. It is nice to be on the other end and supporting these types of businesses.”

We have been lucky enough to benefit from our strong relationships with Cardiff Business School and Bangor University and have been proud to host student placements in our Bridgend and Anglesey offices. It’s a great partnership – the students learn many professional and practical business skills whilst making a direct and fantastic contribution to our business, whether working on specific client projects, or helping to shape our future through research.

We are so delighted to join the pledge as we work with the National Skills Academy through a number of our food and drink projects and programmes. This year, we were particularly pleased to pilot a student placement programme with Cardiff Business School through one of our projects, Food & Drink Wales Sustainable Scale Up Cluster. Working with the Business School, we matched 6 students with food businesses for their 20 week industrial placements. The feedback that we’ve had from both the students and the businesses has been very positive. The students have worked on a wide range of projects with their host businesses and gained important workplace skills whilst helping businesses move forward on these projects.

You can find out more about the Food & Drink Careers Passport and join the pledge:

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