A delegation from Pakistan embarked on a study visit to the UK as part of a Going Global Partnerships project, an international skills partnership made up of the British Council, People 1st International and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Economic Zones Development and Management Company which aims to promote a sectoral approach to skills in the food and beverage industry in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Economic Zone.

People 1st International Executive Director Jane Rexworthy, was joined by Louise Cairns, Chief Executive of the The National Skills Academy for Food & Drink and delegates representing the partnership to explore best practices in industry collaboration and technical vocational education and training.

The week started with a visit to The Birmingham Metropolitan College (BMET) where the college team shared how they work with industry to create tailored programmes that meet the needs of employers. The delegation reviewed the curriculum they run, visited their facilities, and heard from apprentices, providing the delegation with a fantastic insight into collaborative approaches between industry and education providers.

The visit to Walkers Deli & Sausage Co., a division of food manufacturing company Samworth Brothers, provided an insightful look into the manufacturing processes, quality standards, and innovation behind the products manufactured. It was a great opportunity to see first-hand how a large-scale food manufacturing company in the UK operates and to meet two of the apprentices undertaking the Level 3 Apprenticeship in Food and Drink Maintenance Engineering with BMET.

Ahead of the study visit, a series of workshops took place to explore the introduction of an industry advisory/taskforce group (IATG) to promote and implement a sectoral approach to skills in the food and beverages sector in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Economic Zone. The IATG was well attended by public and private sector who had a strong passion to drive forward an effective sectoral skills approach for the food and beverage sector.