News & Events

Monday 30 September, 2013

Coca-Cola Enterprises in Wakefield gives girls a taste for engineering future

Today, 20 girls from Wakefield Girls School and Grange Technology College in Bradford will be visiting Coca-Cola Enterprise’s (CCE) factory in Wakefield to find out what it’s like to be a mechanical engineer in the UK’s largest manufacturing sector.

The visit is part of food and drink manufacturers’ promotion of their industry-backed degree - Meng Food Engineering, at Sheffield Hallam University which is now open for applications (starting September 2014). Organised by the University’s Women in Science, Engineering and Technology (WISET) team, the visit aims to inspire girls studying mathematics and science to consider being engineers and signing up for the course, which offers real career prospects to its graduates. 

Coke is one of the many top food and drink brands supporting the course, others include the makers of Jordan’s breakfast cereals, Cadbury’s chocolate, New York Bagels and McVities Hob Nobs to name just a few. The girls will tour the factory to see high-tech robotics and automation in action and will also get the chance to speak to some of CCE’s female engineers to find out what their job is really like. 

The MEng Food Engineering degree has been specially designed to create employment- ready mechanical engineers with the skills most sought after by the industry. The degree offers real job prospects to its graduates. Amongst several other benefits, the MEng Food Engineering degree offers a welcome Food and Drink Federation bursary of £2,500 for students starting in 2014, and exclusive access to jobs only on offer to course graduates (subject to final grades, references and employer recruitment processes).

For further details on the course and other student benefits, please go to

Food and drink is the largest manufacturing sector in the UK and is home to some of the world’s best-loved brands. It is estimated that the industry needs around 170,300 new recruits by 2020 to help it meet growing demand.  Engineering, particularly mechanical engineering, is vital in helping businesses increase manufacturing efficiency and is one of the most sought after skills in the industry.

Find out more about the MEng Food Engineering degree at

Students can also find out more and ask questions on the Food Engineer Facebook page, MEng Food Engineer Tumbler Blog and via Twitter (#FoodEngineering).

Bill Muirhead, Education Programme Manager at Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) comments: “We are committed to playing a positive role in the communities in which we operate. One of the best ways to achieve this is by opening up our sites to support the work of educators and highlighting the career opportunities available across the industry for young people. We are particularly happy to support initiatives like this that open young women’s eyes to possibilities stemming from taking up Science and Engineering.”

Dr Abhishek Asthana, Senior Lecturer in Engineering and Maths at Sheffield Hallam University said: “Highly-skilled mechanical engineers with knowledge of the food and drink industry are in huge demand. The MEng Food Engineering degree at Sheffield Hallam University has been designed to create engineers that are ready for roles in the industry the moment they graduate, helping the industry to grow and remain world-class. The fantastic brands that are supporting the course show just how committed companies are to supporting the next generation of engineers.”



For more information, please contact Avni Raval on 020 7420 7131


Notes to the Editor:

  1. Link to the MEng Food Engineering at Sheffield Hallam University course page
  2. Link to Women in Science, Engineering and Technology website
  3. The MEng Food Engineering at Sheffield Hallam University has been developed by Graduate Excellence, a partnership between the Food and Drink Federation, the National Skills Academy for Food & Drink and Sheffield Hallam University.
  4. Companies supporting the MEng Food Engineering are: apetito, Arla Foods, Burton's Biscuit Company, Cargill, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Dalehead Foods, F. Duerr & Sons, Finsbury Foods, General Mills, KP Snacks, Maple Leaf Foods, Mars, McCain Foods Ltd, Mondelèz International, Nestlè UK, New England Seafood, New Primebake, PepsiCo UK, Pork Farms, Premier Foods, Silver Spoon, AB World Foods and Jordans & Ryvita, Simpsons Ready Foods Ltd, Tate and Lyle Sugars, United Biscuits, Warburtons, William Jackson Food Group.
  5.  The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) is the voice of the food and drink manufacturing industry – the UK's largest manufacturing sector.
  6. The National Skills Academy for Food & Drink is the food and drink manufacturing industry's skills body. The Academy was created in 2007 to facilitate sector specific training provision to drive up sector productivity and competitiveness in line with employer needs. Training organisations that become part of the Academy undergo rigorous quality checks and include both publicly and privately funded learning centres. Each delivers some aspect of skills development for the food and drink manufacturing industry as a whole, and/or specialist skills for one of its various sub-sectors.
  7. Sheffield Hallam University is one of the UK's largest universities with more than 36,000 students, 27,000 of which are undergraduates. The University has the fourth highest number of postgraduate taught students in the UK and runs approximately 580 different courses. The University is England's largest provider of courses that involve work placements (such as a year in industry) and 91 per cent of the University's graduates are in work or further study six months after graduation.
  8. Graduate Excellence has received co-investment from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) through the Employer Investment Fund.




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