Why work in food and drink?

If you are a scientist, an ideas person or want to work in a dynamic and innovative business environment that offers fantastic progression opportunities food and drink can offer the career for you.

What career opportunities are available?

The Scottish food and drink industry is known across the world for our high quality, nutritious products and we are a vital part of the economy. To maintain this, we need innovators, scientists and engineers to develop and make new products, reformulate existing products, and ensure that we are environmentally responsible. We also need sales, marketing, finance, IT and other business skills. New markets and trends are creating many opportunities for business startups.

More about our careers work

A Future in Food

Our skills initiative, A Future in Food, works with partners across Scotland to raise awareness of the career opportunities available in the Scottish food and drink industry. We help young people, educators, career influencers and parents understand these opportunities and the skills needed by employers.

The Scottish Government fund this work through the Scotland Food & Drink Partnership. Our Skills Manager Moira Stalker is on the Scotland Food & Drink People & Skills Board.

How do I get into a career in food and drink?

Careers mapOpportunities to enter the industry exist at all levels. You can gain work experience while you are still at school by studying a Foundation Apprenticeship.

You can get a job straight from school and train as a Modern Apprentice.

Or there are qualifications at college and university that can help access a career in food and drink. You can also apply directly to work in the industry and work your way up, our employers offer good training and development opportunities.

View our careers route map for more information

Skills for resilience

These case studies illustrate how industry has responded to disruptors and how building a skilled workforce can make your businesses more resilient for the future.

Border Biscuits: What we learned in 2020

When it comes to the crunch, businesses need to think about their people and their ability to adapt how they work. Both will take you through the challenges of the next few years.

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Macsween of Edinburgh: Going back to basics can work wonders

However successful a business, it can benefit from de-constructing the way it does things. At Macsween, we completely reviewed our operations and culture, and are more productive and resilient as a result.

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More skills for resilience case studies

Careers resources

Inside Scottish food and drink – career films

Tune in for a behind the scenes look at what its really like to work in food and drink, the skills food and drink businesses need, and why those working in the industry would recommend it to others.

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Careers case studies

Key messages about working in the food and drink industry in Scotland

This practical guide has been has developed on behalf of the Scotland Food & Drink Partnership. It will help educators and career influencers better understand the wealth of career opportunities in the food and drink industry.

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Careers resources

Educators and career influencers can use these resources when talking to students about career opportunities. Many of these resources can be used as teaching aids and lesson plans can be built around them.

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Learning resources: Chemistry videos

Did you know science is crucial to the success of the food and drink industry? Chemists, physicists and biologists are all needed to ensure food products are safe to eat; to develop new products; and to make changes to existing products.

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Becoming a Food and Drink Ambassador

Our ambassadors inspire young people to consider a career in food and drink. If you work in food and drink and would like to help motivate the next generation of recruits into the industry you can sign up as a food and drink ambassador.