In the survey, presented at the grocery think tank's Skills and Employability Summit in London last month, 87% of respondents said they would work more closely with universities and schools if careers advisers had a better understanding of the industry and its business needs. More than four fifths (83%) also said cutting red tape would help to scale up apprenticeships, with 57% saying the same about work experience.
"So, we must get across a more accurate impression to careers advisers, teachers and parents and that's a common cause for us all," said IGD chief executive Joanne Denney-Finch. "We need our industry to be at the forefront of any ambitious young person's mind whatever qualifications they hold." She added: "There is a big job to be done in helping careers advisers understand the needs of business."
At the same event, food minister Jim Paice announced the creation of 50,000 new apprenticeships in the food supply chain as part of an industry drive to get more young people into skilled food jobs.
Paice said: "Our food industry is hugely important to growth, employing 3.7m people and contributing almost £90bn to the UK economy. But we know that there is a big skills gap right across the food chain. The industry must attract more well-qualified and ambitious candidates if it is to continue to grow and innovate."