Conestoga news

July 9, 2010 8:21 AM

Food Processing Institute to Offer First Course at Conestoga

The Institute of Food Processing Technology (IFPT) will offer its first course at the Doon campus of Conestoga College in Kitchener this October. Food Safety is the initial course in the Process Operator - Food Manufacturing apprenticeship program now under development.

Although the Food Safety course is open to any applicant with an interest in food processing and food safety, registered apprentices will receive admission priority.

Food Safety is the cornerstone course at IFPT. It will serve as the core course for all subsequent programs offered by the Institute.

The IFPT is announcing the Food Safety course now, to encourage employers to hire and register apprentices in the food-processing sector. Employers with registered apprentices may qualify to receive up to $12,000 per apprentice per year in tax credits from the federal and provincial governments.

The Food Safety course is approximately 90 hours in length and will run Mondays and Thursdays, 8 a.m.-3 p.m., from October 18 through December 6. The course will focus on key safety practices and programs, including food-borne illness and food spoilage, food plant security, environmental impacts of a food manufacturing operation, avoidance of food contamination and cross-contamination situations, and effective record-keeping.

The course will enrol a maximum of 25 students. Applicants must have an Ontario Secondary School Diploma or equivalent, or be at least 19 years old, and in all cases able to receive instruction and participate in English.

Employers and registered apprentices can apply through the local Apprenticeship and Client Services Office at 519-653-5758 or 1-866-877-0099. This is also the place to find out about apprenticeship training and education processes and opportunities in general.

Non-apprentices who wish to apply for the Food Safety course can do so directly through Conestoga. For more information, go to the Conestoga website and type Process Operator - Food Manufacturing in the Search box.

The IFPT is a central feature of Conestoga's new Cambridge campus, scheduled to open in 2011. The food and beverage processing industry is one of Ontario's largest, and will provide numerous career opportunities as the sector continues to grow and adopt new technologies. The Institute represents a partnership between Conestoga and the Alliance of Ontario Food Processors. When fully open at the new Cambridge site, the IFPT anticipates hosting approximately 500 full-time students and 300 apprentices. It will be the only training resource of its kind in Ontario.

CONTACT: Luis Garcia, Chair, Institute of Food Processing Technology, 519-748-5220, ext. 2475,