Professional development for a sustainable food system
In a world of rapid environmental change, resource depletion, economic instability and social inequality, it is clear that a more sustainable future requires innovations on all levels of society and the economy. The next generation of human intellectual capital will be able to face these changes and find solutions to incumbent challenges only if it is equipped with advanced skills and competences. EIT Food’s aim is to develop a skilled, innovative workforce that can tackle tough challenges ahead to create a more sustainable food system through innovation and entrepreneurship.
A framework for lifelong learning
EIT Food has developed a robust framework for the food system to offer clear vocational and professional pathways for employees, entrepreneurs and job seekers to acquire the relevant skills and knowledge to aid their careers as innovators and entrepreneurs in the agrifood sector. Designed to promote lifelong learning, the EIT Food competency framework gives employers the tools to recruit top talent, enhance the available skill set of the workforce, and aid staff retention.
The framework sets out eight core competences that innovators and entrepreneurs need to possess to drive effective change in the food system. These competences include technical and underpinning capabilities to drive thinking, influencing and performing activities. This sets the standard for four levels of proficiency:
- Explore to lay the foundations for a career as an innovator or entrepreneur in the food system
- Practice to turn ideas into action
- Master to deliver impact through strategic action
- Inspire to transform the system by inspiring others and sharing expertise
Combining the competences and levels enables job-specific profiles and development trajectories to advance individual careers. The associated certification system guarantees the quality of innovative, multidisciplinary and cross-sectoral learning interventions while allowing fully tailored learning pathways.
Advance programmes to train and deliver impact
The framework sets the standard for EIT Food’s suite of Advance programmes: certificate-based training courses to develop or enhance specific competences. The standard specifies the criteria for inclusion in the portfolio of courses offered by EIT Food. For example, all courses must be challenge-based and designed for learners to drive impact as part of the learning journey, to practise how to turn ideas into innovative, sustainable, and successful solutions.
Also, it sets out our quality assurance criteria to ensure the portfolio offers learners a consistent, relevant and engaging learning experience. This sets the requirements for the creation of new content, but also enables existing courses to be included, provided they meet the standard and EIT Food’s research shows market demand. The standard also allows the inclusion of innovative learning interventions such as workplace-based learning, blended learning and small private online courses alongside more traditional modalities.
The standard is underpinned by two robust accreditation processes to guarantee that EIT Food certificates are recognised as hallmarks of quality and impact throughout the food system. One process builds on academic certificates and diplomas, another on individual certification as specified in ISO17024.