IGD: food and grocery industry unites in bid to help tackle youth unemployment

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Companies from across the food and grocery supply chain are joining forces this month to help 15,000 young unemployed people get into work.

Feeding Britain’s Future – designed by research and training charity IGD – is offering free pre-employment workshops at 1,200 locations across England, Scotland and Wales.

As the UK’s largest private sector employer providing more than 3.7m jobs – 14% of UK employment, or one in every seven jobs – 160 firms and organisations are joining forces to support the campaign.

Some of the UK’s biggest retailers and manufacturers are on board including, Asda, The Co-operative, Dairy Crest, Greencore, Mars, Mondelez, Morrisons, Nestle, NFU, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose.

Throughout September, in partnership with Jobcentre Plus, businesses large and small will be throwing open the doors of their farms, factories and stores for free skills training – such as CV and interview workshops – to help young people understand what it takes to secure a job and get a foot on the career ladder.

In a bid to inspire youngsters to consider a career in the industry, participants will also have the chance to tour behind the scenes for an insight into the jobs available.

After a successful week-long pilot in 2012 after which 98% of those surveyed said that they felt more confident about applying for a job, IGD has launched an extended 2013 campaign to help tackle local youth unemployment.

80% of the companies involved in 2012 said they are now more inclined to take part in other initiatives to help tackle unemployment. 18% of businesses are planning to offer work experience opportunities as a result of the training and 14% of locations are intended to offer job interviews to some of the young people involved.

Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive of IGD, said: “Feeding Britain’s Future is about helping young people to understand the rules of the game. By offering valuable training in areas like CV writing and interview skills, we want to build confidence so they can compete in the jobs market.

“Young people who join us this month will be able to hear first-hand from industry experts about what it is that makes successful applicants stand out and how they too can sell themselves.

“We have a huge amount to offer, employing 3.7million people in a diverse range of jobs from food scientists and engineers, to the important people winning the battle on the front line providing great customer service in stores. In our industry people can genuinely progress from the shop or factory floor to the top of the business.”

Minister for Employment Mark Hoban said: “I am determined to give young people all the help they need to have a good start to their careers, which is why we are working with employers up and down the country to encourage them to provide training and work experience opportunities to help young people get into work. 

“The food and grocery industry is the UK’s biggest employer so it’s great news that 15,000 aspirational young people will have the chance to gain the skills necessary to get a job in the sector.”