We feel a responsibility to help develop the skills of young people. Whether that’s by giving them the confidence to go on a job interview or helping them get on the first rungs of the employment ladder, we believe it’s good for the country and for our business to help the next generation steer their future.
Check out our video below to find out how we're planning for the future by giving young people the opportunity to launch successful careers in the food industry.
We’re committed to taking on more apprentices so that talented young people can ‘earn while they learn’ the skills that our industry needs. High quality engineering talent is critical to helping us drive the rate of innovation we need for the future, which is why we’ve recently doubled our intake of apprentices and now employ nearly 30 around the business with plans to hire more. We’re also helping raise apprenticeship standards through the government’s Apprenticeship Trailblazer programme.
See the case study below to read more and check out our video at the bottom of the page.
With a likely future shortage of engineers in the UK it’s important we play our part in encouraging the best talent to our industry. As well as supporting apprenticeships, we are also playing a leading role in developing the National Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering based at Sheffield Hallam University and supporting the industry-sponsored Masters degree course in Food Engineering, also at Sheffield Hallam. See the case study below to read more.
Despite falling rates of unemployment overall, the rate of youth unemployment is still higher than we would like. Along with others in the food and grocery industry, we’re helping address the problem by supporting the Institute for Grocery Distribution’s Feeding Britain’s Future campaign. This initiative has been running since 2012, and harnesses the experience of industry volunteers to provide structured pre-employment skills training to year 9 and year 12 students as well as unemployed young people between the ages of 16 and 24. See the case study below to read more.
We’ve been supporting the Institute for Grocery Distribution’s Feeding Britain’s Future (FBF) campaign since its launch in 2012. In this time, more than 200 companies have offered 60,000 places to help young, unemployed people with the skills they need to get a job.
For a number of years, our manufacturing sites and head office have hosted workshops for local unemployed youngsters including sessions about CV writing and interview skills. And this past year, we extended our support of FBF by helping the IGD expand its skills training to children in years 9 and 12 within the school setting.
Representatives from Premier Foods helped facilitate sessions with youngsters to encourage them think about the world of work before they finish their studies and start the search for a job.
Even our CEO dropped in one one session last year to encourage the participants and talk about his own experiences and the career opportunities available in the food industry. We plan to send volunteers to at least 50 school sessions in 2016.
We need expertise in maintaining our complex manufacturing technology to help us bring innovative products to market which meet the changing needs of our consumers. And with a shortage of engineers in our sector, we need to ensure more young people are getting into this field. We believe apprenticeships are the best way to develop the expertise we need, as they enable colleagues to earn while they learn as well as gain a valuable qualification. In 2015, we extended our commitment to double our intake of apprentices, increasing our total number to more than 30 by the end of 2016.
We’ve provided multi-skilled engineering apprenticeships for some time. But we’re stepping up in response to a predicted shortage of high quality engineers
Jordan Biggs is a fourth year Engineering Apprentice at our Mr Kipling bakery in Carlton, where he's being trained in both electrical and mechanical engineering. His apprenticeship has included one year full-time at college followed by four years of on-site experience, combined with academic qualifications.
Jordan says: “If you’re keen to learn a broad range of skills, and looking for responsibility and opportunities to progress, an apprenticeship is a perfect opportunity. And I’d really recommend the food industry - I never realised how high tech it could be! For example, at Carlton, I help operate and maintain one of the fastest and most modern production lines in Europe, with brands I’ve grown up with and known all my life.”
Along with other industry bodies, we’re working to turn the National Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering and the associated BEng and MEng degrees in Food Engineering at Sheffield Hallam University into a world leading capability for the UK by 2017.
Our CEO Gavin Darby chairs the Industrial Advisory Board, which advises the new Centre of Excellence on its strategy and priorities to improve the efficiency, innovation, sustainability and competitiveness of the UK’s largest manufacturing industry.
The £6.9m investment from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and significant additional contributions from the industry will create a food engineering facility unparalleled across Europe.
In the past two years we've doubled the intake of apprentices.
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