Food manufacturers are offering free training to 15,000 young unemployed people in 1,200 locations across the UK this month.
Some of the biggest food and drink manufacturers in the industry are involved including Coca-Cola, Mars, Nestlé, Mondelēz, PepsiCo, Dairy Crest, Premier Foods and Unilever.
Retailers taking part include Tesco, Marks & Spencer, Waitrose, The Co-operative Group and Sainsbury.
Throughout the month of September 160 businesses will open the doors of their farms, factories and stores to offer free training in CV writing and interviews, in partnership with JobCentre Plus.
The scheme, called Feeding Britain’s Future (FBF), aims to help young people understand what it takes to get a job and get a foot on the career ladder.
The UK’s largest private sector employer
The food and drink industry is the UK’s largest private sector employer, providing more than 3.7M jobs, which is 14% of UK employment or one in every seven jobs.
Young people who take part will have the chance to tour behind the scenes of the businesses to find out what working in the food industry is really like.
The scheme was organised by IGD.
IGD’s chief executive Joanne Denney-Finch OBE, said: “FBF 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.”
In the scheme’s pilot earlier this year, 98% of the young people said they felt more confident about applying for a job after taking part.
Work experience placements as a result of the training
Of the companies who took part in the scheme last year, 18% said they were planning to offer work experience placements as a result of the training and 14% of the locations intended to offer job interviews to some of the young people involved.
Finch said: “We have a huge amount to offer, employing 3.7M 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.”
Young people who would like to take part in the scheme should contact their local JobCentre Plus for details.