Dr Diogo Monjardino de Souza Monteiro is eager to co-ordinate fresh produce business needs with student skill sets. As director of Newcastle University’s agribusiness programme, he tells Produce Business UK why he is encouraging the sector to complete his new survey
When Dr Monteiro’s academic work brought him into contact with recruiters in the fresh produce business he realised there was a worrying gap between companies’ needs and graduate skills, so he has set about finding a way to bridge the divide.
“I wanted to ask students what they knew of the industry, what skills they felt businesses need, what functions they believe there are to fulfil,” he says. “…And at the same time I wanted to find out from business organisations exactly what they require from student recruits, what part do they think universities can play in preparing young people to enter their industry and how they feel graduates can play a part in growing their businesses.”
The result is a survey that Dr Monteiro hopes will provide the necessary information to smooth the way for graduates to join the fresh produce sector and influence its development.
The survey has already gone out to 600 businesses in the industry. To have your say, take part here.
Dr Monteiro will be speaking about this research at the New York Produce Show and Conference 2015 next week on December 1-3 in New York City.