Recruitment scheme to help fast-track talent into entry-level roles
The National Skills Academy for Food & Drink (NSAFD) has urged the industry to support a new tool to fast-track new talent into food and drink industry roles.
Set to be introduced later this Spring in England and Wales, the Food & Drink Careers Passport offers pre-entry accreditation to job hunters seeking entry-level roles.
The system has been designed to make it easier for employers to find new recruits with food safety, HACCP, health and safety and allergen awareness accreditation. The scheme speeds up interview short-listing and job onboarding, saving time and money for firms and fast-tracking eager and committed new talent into the sector.
Louise Cairns, chief executive of the NSAFD said: “The new Passport is proof that holders will arrive at the interview with core food manufacturing compliance certification.
“All Passport holders have made a readily-evident choice to seek a career in food and drink and have put the work in to prove it. They're engaged and eager to start.”
Businesses that have already pledged support for the passport included Premier Foods, Gressingham Foods, Glanbia Cheese, Greencore and Pukka Pies.
Premier Foods operations and early careers business partner Julie Harris said: “The new Passport scheme eases the path into new employment across all age groups.
“We see it as particularly relevant to engage with and encourage young talent and those from excluded groups into the sector. It provides exactly the kind of easily accessible, structured and supportive first step toward a worthwhile career that people want and appreciate."
Employers can use the passport to identify entry-level candidates with pre-interview compliance certification in: Food Safety Level 2; HACCP Level 2; Health & Safety Level 2; and Allergens Awareness.
FDF head of industry growth Caroline Keohane added: “With around 500,000 vacancies across our farm-to-fork supply chain, we must fill these places with potential, by matching talent to opportunity in all corners of the country.
“The Careers Passport is a practical, industry-led initiative to provide a means to accelerate recruitment in all communities – the next tool to levelling up the nation.”
The NSAFD has tailored content to reflect the highest industry standards, with input from employers including industry subject matter experts. The Careers Passport will be carried out online – enabling 24/7 access from any location.
“The primary aim of the Passport is to boost committed new talent into the industry and cut down onboarding and induction time so new starters can quickly move forward to additional training or orientation specific to their role,” Cairns continued. “Employers will be able to access a central database to check certifications in a couple of clicks, making shortlisting faster.
“There's been strong interest in guaranteeing initial interviews to holders because of the value of attracting ready-certified staff but we think there's a wide variety of beneficial ways employers can integrate the commitment and knowledge of Passport holders into their recruitment process.”