Friday 12 October 2012
NSAFD to highlight need to make the sector more attractive to young people at 5th Annual Conference
The National Skills Academy for Food & Drink is to use its fifth annual conference in November to highlight job and career opportunities in food and drink manufacturing.
The Academy, which provides a single source of expert training for staff at UK food and drink businesses, will be formally launching its Tasty Careers schools outreach programme – designed to raise the profile of careers in the sector and counter negative perceptions of job conditions widely-held by teens.
Representatives of the 70 specialist food and drink training and skills organisations that make up the Academy will hear that even with a million young people unemployed, careers and job opportunities in food manufacturing are “off the radar” of most UK youngsters.
According to Academy research, many young people still believe food manufacturing jobs are “dirty and smelly” with little chance of career variety or pay and promotion progression.
“With the help of businesses from across the sector, Tasty Careers ambassadors go into schools to push home the message that food manufacturing offers a massive variety of secure, well-paid careers in a dynamic, innovative sector making full use of the very latest technology,” said Justine Fosh, the Academy’s Executive Director.
“Through Tasty Careers, we aim to get youngsters excited about the industry while they are still at school and making those vital career and study choices. Only 11 per cent of the sector workforce is currently under 24 with a majority nearing retirement. Unless attitudes change, the only recourse will be to workers from overseas which is perverse when so many young people in the UK are currently without a job.”
Among the speakers at the Academy conference will be Nestlé’s Academy Manager Fiona Miller who will make a keynote speech on how Nestlé have successfully engaged with young people and are now seeking to work more closely with training organisations to ensure graduates and apprentices are more readily available to work in the industry.
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