Last updated: 21.05.14

Food companies to offer schoolchildren work training

A new pilot has been launched in schools as part of the Feeding Britain's Future campaign that will see major retail companies offering employability skills training to 13 to 17-year-olds.

Research by food research and training group IGD suggests that unemployed people believe major employers should play a larger role in providing school children with information and guidance on the various career opportunities that will be available to them.

Many said that they did not understand the key skills required to secure unemployment or recognise the transferability of the skills they do possess.

Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive of IGD, said that there is a big impetus on the food and grocery industry to tackle unemployment, as the UK's biggest employer.

"Our research shows we need to respond to appeals from the unemployed to gain valuable insight into the roles available in this industry and specific skills required to find jobs in this sector," she said.

"The new 'School Pilot' element of the [Feeding Britain's Future] campaign not only gives companies the opportunity to inspire pupils on the variety of skills and opportunities our industry has to offer, but to also equip the next generation with the skills they need to find work."

Ms Denney-Finch estimates that there are currently 611,000 job vacancies in the UK that are waiting to be filled. However in order to do this, she said it is vital that the potential workforce is provided with the information they need to get these jobs.

"That’s exactly what our campaign is all about and our research highlights how incredibly powerful the industry can be at inspiring young people to consider the food and grocery industry as a career path," the chief executive added.

After last year's IGD campaign, 97 per cent of participants reportedly said that they felt more confident about applying for a job and 89 per cent said they would consider working in the food and grocery sector