Feeding Britain’s Future celebrates high-profile support in 2015, IGD reports

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IGD is celebrating a successful fourth year of its Feeding Britain’s Future employability skills programme, with 2015 highlights including grocery chief executives heading back to schools, a visit from the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and even a very special appointment with royalty.

This year, Feeding Britain’s Future comprised two streams. Skills for Work Month in September continued as the core programme, an established annual event that supports young people and the wider unemployed with employability skills workshops. And following the success of last year’s pilot, in 2015 IGD developed a full programme of schools-based workshops, which saw industry volunteers visit schools across the country to provide insight and inspiration around food and grocery careers, and offer guidance on the skills needed in the world of work.

Since the start of 2015, nearly 200 companies from across the food, grocery, farming and foodservice industries have opened their doors to support Feeding Britain’s Future. In total, the programme has helped more than 16,000 individuals this year – from unemployed 18-24 year olds to students exploring their options at school.

Other highlights include:

  • Thanks to the support of 1,000 industry volunteers, the first full year of the schools programme has reached just over 5,000 schoolchildren in Year 9 and Year 12, 92% of whom said the experience helped them understand how their school subjects could be applied to the world of work. Volunteers were drawn from across the industry, with even chief executives of food and grocery companies heading back to the classroom
  • September’s Skills for Work Month supported 11,299 individuals, with nearly 200 companies taking part throughout the month. IGD worked in partnership with Jobcentre Plus to offer workshops focused on different stages of the job-hunting journey, from CV writing through to interview techniques
  • Local job seekers got the chance to practise their interview techniques with The Countess of Wessex when she joined a Skills for Work Month workshop at the family-owned Marshfield Bakery in Dyrham, South Gloucestershire
  • Iain Duncan Smith MP and Secretary of State for Work and Pensions was another high-profile visitor, meeting local unemployed people at the Tesco Highams Park superstore in Waltham Forest

Joanne Denney-Finch, IGD chief executive, said: “Several high-profile people lent their support to the programme in 2015. MPs, grocery CEOs and even a member of the Royal Family dedicated time and energy to seeing Feeding Britain’s Future in action, united in their commitment to creating a brighter employment future for young people throughout the UK.

“Through collaboration across a diverse group of companies, Feeding Britain’s Future is helping to make a real impact on thousands of young people considering their future and actively seeking work. Our industry is 3.8 million strong, accounting for one in seven jobs, making us the largest private sector employer; with your continued support, we can open the eyes of young people across the UK to our vast range of rewarding careers and equip them to start their journey.”

Feeding Britain’s Future will expand the schools programme for 2016, aiming to reach 7,000 pupils across the UK. September will remain the programme’s core Skills for Work Month. If you would like to participate in Feeding Britain’s Future next year or would like to find out more about the campaign, simply register your interest at www.igd.com/feedingbritainsfuture