The new staff will be recruited to work at The Pizza Factory in Nottingham by the end of October.
The food group is working with Nottingham Jobcentre Plus and the Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher Education (GIFHE) to target and train local unemployed young people between the ages of 18 to 25 to prepare them for work in the food industry.
Andrew Pidluznyj, senior employer and partnerships manager at Jobcentre Plus in Nottingham, told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “The aim is to help young people out of work. We’re training unemployed people to give them an idea of what it’s like to work in the food sector. If they complete the training they are guaranteed a job interview.”
Jobcentre Plus held two selection days in which staff identified 100 people. More than 200 people attended.
Nottingham Forest Football Club
GIFHE was also involved in the initial selection days. It held numeracy, literacy and understanding instruction tests. Nottingham Forest Football Club donated its facilities free of charge.
The pre-employment training courses will include Level 2 Food Hygiene, Health and Safety, Environment and Quality management and will be delivered by GIFHE. They will be for up to 25 candidates per week throughout this month.
2 Sisters was involved with the training to ensure that it met its requirements.
Andrew Hanson, head of communications at 2 Sisters Food Group, told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “The scheme is a result of us working with Grimsby Institute for the last five years and we continue to work with them on training needs in many parts of our business.”
Pidluznyj said: “I’m hopeful that the vast majority of people will be successful. If they are not offered jobs with The Pizza Factory, we will look at the reasons why.”
Grow the business
Natalie Webster, HR manager for Pizza Factory, said: “This is good news for Pizza Factory and 2 Sisters and shows how our focus on working with our customers to grow the business is starting to pay off.”
Growth in chilled pizza sales was highlighted in Mintel’s most recent research on the UK pizza market. This indicated that chilled pizza products accounted for 58% of NPD in 2010, compared with 41% for frozen. The market share of chilled pizza was predicted to marginally overtake frozen in 2011, with sales of £415M and £410M respectively.
Growth in pizza sales overall is being driven by the expansion of own-label, increased promotional activity and the position of pizza as a relatively low-priced family friendly food, according to Mintel’s senior food analyst, Alex Beckett.
Chilled pizza has experienced better fortunes in recent years than frozen, thanks to the wider variety of price points and quality tiers now offered by supermarket own-label, said Beckett.