The campaign will target the 16–18 age group, who are considering or have completed relevant further education or apprenticeship options, through channels such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.
Nicki Hunt, FDF media and campaign manager told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “We hope that this campaign will encourage young people to look at careers in the industry as soon as it’s launched.
“As a result of our recent pledge to double the number of apprentices in the food manufacturing industry by the end of 2012, there will be even more job opportunities available for people in our target age range. This will be in addition to the range of opportunities already available for apprentices and graduates.”
The campaign will be launched at The Big Bang science and engineering fair at the NEC, Birmingham, in March 2012. It will initially consist of video sketches of the industry at work, a Facebook page and “an online Facebook quiz-type app”.
As the campaign progresses, further content will be updated to maintain levels of interest with the potential to discuss other methods for engagement.
The campaign is part of the FDF’s larger ‘Taste success – A future in food’ campaign to dispel the “hairnet, wellies and production lines” image and fill the estimated potential 137,000 shortfall in personnel by 2017, according to the FDF.
Terry Jones, FDF director of communications said: “The food industry is a great place to work. Everyone loves food and researching, developing, creating and marketing new products is something many people would consider a dream job, but we need to get the message out there that these roles are available and attract more people into our industry.”
Hunt also said the use of social media channels will help the FDF reach a younger audience that may pick up information through alterative means.
The primary avenues of engagement will be Facebook and YouTube but Twitter and face-to-face meetings at events such as careers fairs and webinars will also play roles.
“We have many possible routes to our target audience and we are using a combination of approaches”, she added.
Hunt said that after the launch, if someone with the right qualifications was inspired to join the industry, he or she could find work within weeks.
“At the end of the day we want people to use the sites and view the videos but ultimately we want them to come into the industry and that's a complex success measure,” she said.
Meanwhile, for more information about social media in the food industry, make a date to attend Food Manufacture's 2011 Product Recall conference at the National Motorcycle Museum on Wednesday November 23.
Social media consultant Matthew Yeomans will explain how to use social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, blogs and other channels to benefit your food and beverage manufacturing business.
For more information, click here or phone 01293 610433.