EIT Food takes 82 secondary school students to F4F to discover the professions in the agrifood sector
For several weeks, three classes from the Aldapeta school in San Sebastian (Spain) have been exploring career opportunities in the agrifood sector with the support of EIT Food. The aim is to attract talent in a key sector that contributes significantly to the GDP of the Basque Country (4%) and Spain (10%). As part of the activities, this morning they attended the Food4Future event at the Bilbao Exhibition Center (BEC).
The future of agrifood is not only in the hands of students of degrees related to the sector, but also in those who have not yet chosen their professional career. EIT Food has focused on this public with the 'Career Day', through which almost a hundred secondary school students have learned about the work of professionals in this field.
It has been held on the 18th of May at the BEC in Barakaldo, which is hosting the Food4Future (F4F) event from the 16th until the 18th, which provides an insight into the latest innovations in the food industry and which, for the third consecutive year, has counted on the participation of EIT Food as a strategic partner.
This European organisation has organised for the first time the 'Career Day', as part of its educational programme 'Los Salvacomidas'. The aim of the event was to bring the agri-food sector closer to students who have not yet chosen a professional career, with the aim of attracting talent to the sector. Thus, 82 students from the last year of ESO at the Aldapeta Maria school in San Sebastián (Spain) took part in the event, working for several weeks in their classes on the agrifood sector, the value chain and the different career opportunities that this field offers.
"They are all students of the Entrepreneurship subject", explains Txelu Lomas, the teacher responsible for this initiative at the school in San Sebastian. "We have assigned each of them a role within the food chain, such as head of sales, production, logistics or the environment... They have to get an idea of how to do the job, and here they have the opportunity to get to know the sector from the inside. Later on, with what we have worked on during these weeks and the visit to Food4Future, we will analyse what conclusions they have drawn"
In the weeks leading up to the event, they were given online training material and each one chose a position in order to put themselves in the shoes of the tasks they would have to perform and to approach F4F professionals from a career development perspective, gaining a deeper understanding of the different functions. At the BEC, they were able to see the reality of the sector at first hand.
As part of the day, they started with a tour of the F4F stands. Afterwards, they got to know first-hand the professions in the agri-food sector in a session moderated by Miriam Sastre and Alba Molina, from EIT Food.
"We organised this conference because we believe in the power of inspiring and motivating young people towards agrifood related disciplines. We want to show them the incredible opportunities that the sector offers and attract talent. It is a way to promote the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed in this constantly evolving industry. And, above all, we want to create an impact on these students that will make them reflect on their current habits and their future career. Without a doubt, this conference is an open window to a future full of exciting possibilities and personal growth", says Miriam Sastre, Communication Manager at EIT Food.
Several women from the sector took part: Lara Rodríguez, head of innovation and female entrepreneurship at EIT Food in Southern Europe; Elena Santa Cruz, researcher at the AZTI Research Centre (a scientific centre specialising in the marine environment and food); Maite Muruzabal, representing the Grupo AN (a company that brings together more than 150 agrifood cooperatives); and Amaia Agirre, head of Corporate Innovation and manager of Fundación Ausolan (a company dedicated to food, with kitchens all over Spain that provides services to schools and residences).
This day is part of the Misión Salvacomidas, an EIT Food educational programme to promote healthy eating and zero waste, as well as to attract talent to the sector among schoolchildren throughout Spain. It includes a set of activities to raise awareness and educate children about food waste and its consequences, as well as strategies to combat it. This is aligned with the objectives of EIT Food, which aims to work closely with consumers to develop new products and services based on knowledge and technology that ultimately deliver a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle for all citizens.