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Menter a Busnes expands its portfolio of support for Welsh food & drink industry

L-R: Menter a Busnes Chief Executive, Llŷr Roberts, Menter a Busnes Director, Manon Llwyd Rowlands, and Cywain Project Manager, Alex James.

Menter a Busnes is to expand its portfolio of expert support for food and drink businesses in Wales with the addition of a new Welsh Government skills programme.

The ‘Skills for Success’ programme is part of the Welsh Government’s commitment to working with the food and drink industry to develop a skilled and capable workforce. It will help Welsh food and drink companies access training and skills development for their staff, driving up productivity, improving bottom line financial returns as well as promoting best practices.

Increasing workforce skills is a prerequisite to increase productivity and efficiency and to fuel innovation and sustainable growth. The new programme will work closely with businesses of all sizes within Wales to identify skill shortages and opportunities to upskill their workforce.

It will also prepare employees across Wales to adapt to changes and opportunities in food manufacturing including technical, business and environmental challenges. It will also contribute to the delivery of NetZero targets through integrating sustainability information and knowledge into the programme.

The ‘Skills for Success’ programme will engage via numerous methods with young people to improve the perception and understanding of the opportunities in the food and drink industry as an attractive sector for career satisfaction, career progression and choice.

Menter a Busnes has extensive experience working with food and drink businesses, and the national, independent economic company has been responsible for delivering the Cywain sustainable growth model since 2008.

Over the years, the programme has expanded to provide a range of tailored and targeted growth-orientated support such as mentoring, workshops, study visits and events. Support for Welsh food and drink businesses is delivered through Cywain’s Wales-wide network of development managers, and there are 37 staff members directly involved with the projects.

During the most recent mainstream period (2018-2023) of dynamic food and drink sector programme strategies – including Cywain, Trade Engagement, and Clusters – delivered by Menter a Busnes have seen a return in sales of more than £ 45 million.

Menter a Busnes Chief Executive, Llŷr Roberts, said, “Menter a Busnes has more than three decades of experience working with Welsh food and drink producers at every stage of their development from start-ups to established global companies.

“We, therefore, welcome the opportunity to work with Welsh Government to increase critical skills in the food and drink sector and to help businesses develop their full potential.

“We are also delighted to continue to deliver Cywain, the flagship growth support programme for the sector. It is an exciting time for Wales’ food and drink industry, and the increased portfolio of support available will help equip businesses with the skills and opportunities to continue to grow and thrive.”

In addition to delivering Cywain, Menter a Busnes will also continue to deliver the Trade Engagement programme, as well as the Fine Food and Honey Cluster, and the Seafood Cluster. Membership of the Clusters provides participants with an easy and accessible way to share, support, solve problems, develop opportunities, and encourage collaboration projects.

Manon Llwyd Rowlands, Menter a Busnes director, said, “We are very proud to be delivering on such important and impactful programmes on behalf of the Welsh Government Food Division. All these elements will be delivered against Welsh Government’s key objectives and vision for a flourishing food and drink industry with a global reputation for excellence.

“Through Menter a Busnes’ extended delivery portfolio, it will be crucial to not only ensure collaborative working between the various programmes but also further develop and add value to partnership working with other growth support programmes delivered on behalf of the Food Division and beyond.”