Sainsbury’s is launching a food science graduate scheme in a bid to tackle shortages in the sector.
The supermarket said the number of graduates becoming food science experts has hit dangerously low levels in recent years, and has introduced a gap year programme called Taste the World.
The scheme will help fund food science graduates to travel the world for up to 12 months, visiting suppliers on their chosen route of travel.
Sainsbury’s is working closely with a number of universities across the UK to help implement the innovative scheme. The visits have included showing food science graduates a short film featuring current Sainsbury’s product developers and technologists to attract them to the scheme.
Liz Jarman, Sainsbury’s head of product technology, said: “The last three years has seen a massive turnaround in what supermarkets and suppliers are doing to clean up their acts to make food healthier, and to feed the nation. It couldn’t be a more exciting time to join the industry.
“We wanted to come up with an interesting way of attracting the best people to the business as they’ll help shape the future of food.”
To be eligible for the scheme, graduates must have a food or science-based degree, and pass through the company’s assessment centre as a product technologist.