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New award to celebrate food and drink businesses who upskill their workforce

A new category in this year’s Wales Food and Drink Awards will celebrate the food and drink businesses in Wales that are committed to upskilling their workforce.

The Wales Food & Drink Upskilling Business of the Year category is sponsored by Food & Drink Skills Wales/Sgiliau Bwyd a Diod Cymru, a new Welsh Government funded programme that works with the food and drink industry to develop a skilled and capable workforce to increase productivity and efficiency, and to fuel innovation and sustainable growth in Wales.

The Wales Food & Drink Upskilling Business of the Year Award will recognise the positive impact and tangible benefits that upskilling the workforce can have on food and drink businesses. It is one of 17 categories in this year’s awards, which will be celebrated with a black-tie event at The Brangwyn Hall, Swansea, on May 9. It promises to be the biggest edition of the awards yet.

The Wales Food and Drink Awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of people in the food and drink sector in Wales. Independent foodservice wholesaler Castell Howell is the lead sponsor for the awards, which were co-founded by Liz Brookes of Grapevine Event Management and broadcaster and journalist Sian Lloyd.

The awards are free to enter, with entries open until midnight on the 23rd February.

Launched in 2023, Food & Drink Skills Wales/Sgiliau Bwyd a Diod Cymru works with a wide range of food and drink businesses of all sizes, with a focus on the Welsh food and drink processing and manufacturing industry, to ensure employees have the right skills and training for their business and the wider industry. 

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Eligible businesses can access up to 80% towards training costs. Businesses that register with Food & Drink Skills Wales/Sgiliau Bwyd a Diod Cymru are allocated their own Workforce Development Manager who will support them, carry out skills diagnostics with them, and help signpost to further relevant support. 

Nerys Davies, Food & Drink Skills Wales/ Sgiliau Bwyd a Diod Cymru Project Manager, said:

 “We are very proud to be sponsoring this new category in the Wales Food and Drink Awards, which matches our mission to support the development of a skilled and capable workforce in the food and drink sector in Wales. We know that many businesses in Wales are already making outstanding efforts to upskill their workforce, provide opportunities for career progression, and improve performance and growth. We want to see them gain the recognition they deserve, and we also hope this new award inspires others to commit to developing the skills of their teams.”

Liz Brookes, co-founder of the Wales Food and Drink Awards, said:

“The new Wales Food & Drink Upskilling Business of the Year category is an important addition to the Wales Food and Drink Awards, which aim not only to celebrate the huge achievements of Wales’ food and drink businesses, but also to encourage progress and further development within the sector. We’re delighted to welcome entrants to this new category and look forward to celebrating the winners on May 9.”

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