The Food and Drink Federation’s Attracting Talent to Support Growth event highlighted the importance of nurturing young talent, with the need for 137,000 new recruits to join the UK food industry by 2017.

Representatives from key industry associations and global food company General Mills, addressed issues surrounding the sector, with only 15% of 14- to 18 year-olds considering a job in food manufacturing.

The Federation has pledged to double the number of apprentices working in the industry by the end of 2012, with over 2,000 apprentices currently working in food and drink manufacturing.