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Food, Beverage and Pharmaceutical

The food, beverage and pharmaceutical industry is diverse in terms of the size and location of employers, and in the range of occupations available. The industry produces, processes or manufactures many of life’s essential food and beverage products, and pharmaceuticals.

The industry sectors are:

  • Food processing and manufacture, such as dairy, bakery, grain, cereal and pasta, fruit and vegetable, sugar, confectionery, snack foods and artisan food and beverage.
  • Beverage manufacturing, such as wine, spirit, beer and soft drink.
  • Livestock and pet food manufacturing.
  • Pharmaceutical manufacturing, such as human and veterinary pharmaceutical and medicinal products and complementary medicines.
  • Wholesale of the above.

What does this industry cover?

New technology is playing an important part in the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industry, with innovations focussing on sustainable packaging, decreasing food waste, and farming and production processes.

As customers are becoming more conscious of health and environmental factors, new technologies are being developed to support these factors and market to these groups. Many customers now want to know what they are putting in and on their bodies, whether it is healthy, where and how it is sourced, and what goes into production. Consumers are also becoming more aware of global supply chains, and are moving to source their products locally impacting on local markets and resulting in an uptake of artisan food and beverage.

Job hunting information

This industry is characterised by a many of small and medium-size producers who are producing for local or niche markets, and a smaller number of large producers who are often multinational companies that operate globally. Many employers are located in regional and rural centres.

Top priority industry and occupation skills include bioprocessing technologies, brewing and distilling, food and beverage fermentation and artisanal cheesemaking. Projected top occupations are for bakers and pastry cooks.

Information for further research

Industry information is published by peak level associations, government and major employers.  Accessing industry association sites, including member lists, is a good way of building up an understanding of an industry.  Visiting employer websites and looking for careers or employment menus helps identify how employers recruit and the skills they are recruiting.

Employment and wage data for this industry

Apprenticeships Employment Size

This is a medium industry for Australian Apprenticeship commencements. In the year to September 2019, commencements were: 1931

Source: VOCSTATS, extracted on 14/04/2020AATIS analysis.

Commencements Change

Commencements in the year to September 2019 in this industry have decreased, compared with the previous year.

Source: VOCSTATS, extracted on 14/04/2020AATIS analysis.

Apprentice Employment Outcomes

For Australian Apprentice graduates from this industry, employment outcomes are high.

Source: NCVER National Student Outcomes Survey, 2017, unpublished. AATIS analysis.

Industry Employment Size

This is a medium to large sized industry compared with other Australian industries.

Source: Department of Education, Skills and Employment, 2019. AATIS analysis.

Industry Employment Change

Over the past 5 years, change in employment in this industry has remained stable.

Source: Department of Education, Skills and Employment, 2019. AATIS analysis.

Industry Wage

The average wage of all employees in this industry is low to medium.

Source: Department of Education, Skills and Employment, 2019. AATIS analysis.

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