During September 2013 Feeding Britain’s Future – Skills for Work Month saw thousands of unemployed people aged 16-24 receive pre-employment training from 190 companies operating in Britain’s food and consumer goods industry.
In 1,200 locations across the whole country, young people had access to CV tips, interview training and behind-the-scenes tours of supermarkets, factories, depots, farms and offices. The workshops were designed with feedback from young people in mind, following a focus group in 2012 involving 50 young unemployed people, and a successful pilot week in September of that year.
Below are some brief photo stories from around the country about young people who have found work thanks to Feeding Britain’s Future.
Vince Cable visits Sainsbury's in Twickenham for a taste of Feeding Britain's Future
The Business Secretary lent his support to the food industry's campaign on the last day of Skills for Work Month visiting Sainsbury's in St Clare, London.
Dr Cable met the ten young unemployed people attending the Sainsbury's workshop before a quick tour of the store and a chat with some of the Sainsbury's colleagues.
IGD's chief executive, Joanne Denney-Finch, accompanied the Cabinet Minister on his visit.
Mars helps young people at four workshops
Mars held four Feeding Britain’s Future workshops at its UK sites bringing together school and college leavers and graduates looking for work from the local communities.
Those young people gathered tips and advice directly from Mars’ recruitment team and listened to new joiners who had recently gone through the process themselves.
Attendees assessed their own personality type, identified application dos and don’ts and got personal CV feedback and one-to-one interview practice from Mars’ team.
As well as advice on presenting their skills and experience in the best possible light, participants toured the facilities and were surprised and interested to see working life behind the scenes.
Attendees said “I am now more confident in interviews” and “[the workshop had] a very personal approach with really useful information and allowed me to ask a wide variety of questions”
And another summed up Feeding Britain’s Future for both himself and the Mars team: “Overall it has been a wonderful experience – loved it!”
'We loved it so much, we came back for more'
Five young unemployed people came back to IGD for a second Feeding Britain’s Future workshop to secure a job.
Eleven job seekers attended IGD's session this morning. Five of them had attended a session earlier this month on CV writing and were so enthused they came back again for further support.
They received hints and tips on competency-based questions, how to structure an application form, how to prepare well for interviews and they got to practice some of their new skills in a safe and supportive environment.
Three young unemployed people get jobs at Unilever through Feeding Britain’s Future
Katie Lockwood, HR Management Trainee based at Unilever Port Sunlight who ran a Feeding Britain’s Future event in September.
Katie said: “The event was a great success and both attendees and facilitators alike had a great day. We had 26 attendees with a varying qualification levels. Particular highlights were the employability session and the opportunity to talk to our current employees and find out more about the different roles available on site.
“As part of an ongoing commitment to our attendees, we are going to follow up with two mentoring sessions over the coming months. I am delighted to report that since the event on Monday, three attendees have secured roles in the business through our suppliers Manpower and Sodexo.”
Job hunters in Warwickshire look at food and farming
A group of seven young unemployed people from Warwickshire visited Stoneleigh Park for some job search tips and an insight into a career in agriculture and horticulture.
The event was hosted by Stoneleigh residents the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) and the National Farmers Union (NFU).
Thanks to Tess Howe, External Skills Project Manager at AHDB, and a supporting team of AHDB staff from across the levy board’s six divisions, each young visitor claimed they went away feeling more confident about finding the right job for them. Encouragingly, the whole group said the AHDB visit had made them think seriously about taking up a career in agriculture/horticulture.
Samantha Bryan, who graduated from Coventry University this year in International Business Management, was delighted with the day: “Hearing from the graduates working at AHDB and taking in tips for handling interviews has given me the motivational push to look for the job that’s right for me.”
Tess Howe added: “Good quality people are essential to the future of our industry so we need to get agriculture and horticulture recognised as a top career choice. AHDB is passionate about encouraging new talent to consider a career in food and farming and Skills for Work Month offered an excellent opportunity to do just that.”
MP gets taste for Feeding Britain’s Future at Premier Foods
Charlotte Leslie MP visiting a Skills for Work Month workshop at Premier Foods’ Hovis Bakery in Avonmouth on 18 September. One of the young unemployed people at the workshop was particularly pleased to get an opportunity to meet her local MP.
"I was given an opportunity to talk to our local MP Charlotte Leslie. It was great to talk to her about young people like me trying to find work. Charlotte really listened to me and was really interested in what I had to say.
“In the CV writing and interview session they made me more aware of the skills and attributes I have that could make me more appealing to employers. I learned that I could use my experiences outside of work to show my abilities. All in all it was a brilliant day, I had loads of fun and I am going away with so much information and confidence.
“I will tell everyone what a brilliant day it was and how much I learned."
Former Employment Minister visits Intersnack
Mark Hoban MP was supportive of Feeding Britain's Future throughout his time at the Department for Work and Pensions. During September he completed two visits to see Skills for Work Month in action on the ground.
At Intersnack in County Durham he met with some young unemployed people who were attending a workshop providing them with interview skills, CV tips, a taste panel and a look around the factory. While he was there, BBC North East spoke to him about the initiative and about the wider youth unemployment challenge in the region.
AB World Foods inspires young people with job search tips
In Leigh, ABWF held two full day workshops which they say "ran smoothly with excellent participation and engagement from the attendees and great support and enthusiasm from all AB World Foods employees."
The workshop included a factory tour, taste panel, 'desert island' group exercise and interview tips. Feedback from attendees has all been positive and the team at Leigh are looking forward to delivering another two days later in the month.
Tesco delivering training opportunities across the country
Tesco started its national series of Feeding Britain's Future events in week three of Skills for Work Month. In Great Yarmouth 13 young unemployed people attended one of two half-day sessions looking at CV skills, interview tips and the Tesco recruitment process.
In Bradford the Tesco team were impressed with the positive energy the young people left with.
Brakes hosts successful event and may have jobs for Christmas
In Motherwell Brakes hosted an event that was “an outstanding success with some great interaction”. The company also selected a possible three or four candidates who could return for seasonal opportunities at Christmas.
David Amess MP visits Morrisons workshop in Southend
Morrisons is a big supporter of Feeding Britain's Future, and provided opportunities for groups of three young unemployed people at hundreds of locations across the country.
David Amess visited his local stores in Southend to see for himself the difference the industry is making to the lives and job prospects of unemployed 16-24-year-olds.
Industrious and Macrae's Edinburgh give young people a taste of jobs and salmon
Industrious Ltd worked with Macrae's Edinburgh and focused on interview skills, specifically, what type of interviews there were, how to tackle them and how to make your real life experience relevant to questions you may get asked.
Vanessa Durney sums up what happened: "The team also participated in group exercises such as “What five things would you take to survive on a desert island” – this created much hilarity and some really hairy suggestions, but once we had completed this exercise and had narrowed this down to a top 5, I then explained why we had done the exercise and what employers are actually looking at when observing these activities. We had some natural leaders in our group and some very logical thinkers too.
"We followed this with a taste panel on smoked salmon, three talks on different parts of the business (supply chain, technical, HR) and then finished with a factory tour."
Midlands Co-operative Society brings 'journey to work' to life
Young unemployed people in Lichfield received some skills training from Midlands Co-operative Society during Skills for Work month.
Emma and Amy experienced the application process and recieved some valuable job search tips, as well as gaining an insight into what goes on behind the scenes at a supermarket.
Smaller workshops involving just a few young unemployed people contributed a great deal to the overall numbers being delivered by the UK's food and grocery industry.
Greencore gets great feedback
At the end of September we'll gather all feedback from the young unemployed people taking part in Feeding Britain's Future this year. To see what they thought in 2012, click here.
So far the early signs have been very positive. Greencore provided a few quotes from a workshop in Kiveton:
- "The help the team have given me today I have found more than useful", Daniel
- "...Seeing all the people who have come from the Job Centre and got a job gave me a boost of confidence about getting a job myself...", Steven
- "...Most useful was finding out how varied the jobs are at Greencore", Louise
Greencore had 24 people attend from the local area, 15 of whom signed up to a follow-up session at the end of the month. The local mayor and Greencore's chief executive, Patrick Coveney, also attended.
Sainsbury's works with Dairy Crest to tell broader story
Sainsbury's in Streatham Common, London welcomed 10 young unemployed people to their store during September. Other workshops in places like New Cross also achieved a good turnout, thanks to good communication and activity with the local JobCentre Plus.
At one Sainsbury's workshop, four people were offered an interview for jobs with the company. The retailer has also worked with Dairy Crest to present a broader story of the food supply chain to the young unemployed particpants in Stratford.
Former Food Minister visits workshop at Asda, Belvedere
David Heath MP saw for himself what Feeding Britain's Future is all about and also received a tour of a new Asda store at Belvedere in London.
The workshop gave 17 young unemployed people the opportunity to receive some tips on their CVs and to find out more about applying for jobs in the food and grocery industry. They were also able to talk to some other young people already working at Asda and find out more about the life of a store manager.
Mondelez helping 100 young unemployed people
More than 100 youngsters from in and around Birmingham visited Mondelēz International during Skills for Work Month. Youngsters from JobCentre Plus and St Basils homeless charity had CV and interview sessions with HR managers to help them develop their employability skills and improve their chances of getting a job.
As well as workshops to improve their soft skills, all participants had the chance to meeting with apprentices currently working on site, participate in a tasting session, and a tour of the Bournville manufacturing plant to see how the business is run and the wide range of careers available.
Kelly Farrell, community affairs assistant manager at Mondelēz International, said: “We participated in Feeding Britain’s Future – Skills for Work Week 2012 and it was extremely encouraging to see young unemployed people engaging with Mondelēz International employees. We hope to repeat this on a larger scale this year and are excited to once again be involved in this major UK initiative.”
Greencore gives youngster full job trial after workshop
Greencore has held a number of workshops already in Selby, Manton Wood and Crosby, for example.
Two people that attended a workshop in Northampton had interviews for a 'man in a van' delivery driver job for Greencore's M&S sandwiches business. One of them in particular stood out as an outstanding candidate and is now on a full job trial with a view to making a permanent appointment.
Good turnout at Marshfield Bakery
Chris Smith of Marshfield Bakery was pleased with the turnout at his workshops during September. The company even gained the support of local MP and Government Pensions Minister, Steve Webb, who said: "I am pleased that Marshfield Bakery is making an important contribution locally to employing young people and helping them to learn valuable new skills. I hope that many young people from the local area will take part in one of these workshops and consider whether a career in the food industry could be right for them."
Co-operative Group parks tractor outside HQ
To celebrate the beginning of Skills for Work Month the Co-operative Group branded up a tractor and parked it outside their Manchester HQ.
The Co-op is a big supporter of Feeding Britain's Future, and offered many training opportunities to young unemployed people across the country in September.
Coca-Cola Enterprises introduces young people to recycling scheme
In Hemswell Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) teamed up with EcoPlastics to host sessions for young unemployed people at their Continuum facility.
As well as CV tips and interview skills, the 16-24-year-olds learnt more about this recycling joint venture and how it is making a big difference to the amount of plastic used in the supply chain.
Twelve jobseekers attended and CCE will be hosting other sessions in East Kilbride and Wakefield.
The story of Feeding Britain's Future
Download a summary of Feeding Britain's Future here