Blog: Food firms to fight youth unemployment
Sam Webb | 28 October 2011
Food manufacturers in the UK are being called on to increase apprenticeship places to help tackle youth unemployment, as well as secure the future of the industry.
The Food and Drink Federation (FDF), the UK industry association, has urged manufacturers to pledge to increase the number of apprenticeship opportunities in the food and drink sector.
Nearly 1m adults under 25 are currently out of work in the country as the economy continues to struggle but the FDF believes apprenticeships can help alleviate the problem.
However, the scheme is not just about helping youngsters embark on a rewarding career path.
As well as benefits such as support developing an apprenticeship programme, funding and access to training, the FDF says apprenticeships will help address the ticking time bomb of a skills shortage in the industry.
Angela Coleshill, FDF's director of competitiveness, highlighted that over a third of the workforce is due to retire in the next five years.
"The future sustainability of the food industry is highly dependent on the skills of its workforce and its ability to innovate. Apprenticeships will be a key mechanism for the industry to attract talent," she said.
"There is certainly appetite for investment in skills, which is why FDF members are taking collective action to help us build a pool of talented apprentices that can be developed and deployed across the industry - building skills for the future."
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