Food firms will be attending the event – due to take place at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC), Birmingham between March 15-17 – for the first time this year.
Angela Coleshill, FDF’s Director of Competitiveness 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.”
Paul Grimwood, chairman and ceo Nestlé UK & Ireland, added: “We believe that recruiting the best people for our business is key to our continued success, which is why we launched the Nestlé Academy at the end of last year.
“We are also supporting the Food and Drink Federation’s pledge to double the number of apprentices working in the food and drink industry by the end of 2012. We aim to have 100 apprentices working across our business by the end of the year.”
The FDF and Nestlé hope a giant Smarties fountain and food-themed videos will inspire young people to consider a career in food and drink manufacturing.
The 4m Smarties fountain uses air pressure to propel giant Smarties up to the top of the tube where they’ll cascade down back to the base. Visitors will be invited to compete in a factory automation simulation game based on the Kit Kat production line.
Nestlé engineering graduates and apprentices – who designed the game – will be on hand to explain what it is like to work in the food industry.
The event will be the UK’s largest science and engineering careers fair and is expected to attract 45,000 visitors.
The food and drink manufacturing sector employs 400,000 people in a wide variety of roles, according to the FDF. Within the next five years, the industry will require 137,000 new recruits, it predicts.
Taking part in The Big Bang will be more than 150 organisations from the public, private and voluntary sectors.
The event will be led by EngineeringUK in partnership with the British Science Association, the Institute of Physics, the Science Council, the Royal Academy of Engineering and Young Engineers, the event is supported by The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
Meanwhile, for more information about apprenticeships in food and drink manufacturing, make a date to attend our free Skills Seminar on the morning of Monday March 26 at the NEC. The seminar will take place alongside the Food and Drink Expo and Foodex shows.
The free Skills Seminar, organised by our sister title Food Manufacture in conjunction with the IFST, is intended for HR directors and managers.
On offer will be a wealth of information about the latest manufacturing apprenticeship schemes and a new transferable skills initiative.
For more information about the event, which will take place at the NEC on the morning of Monday March 26, or to book your free place, click here or contact Hannah Rosevear on 01293 610431 or email Hannah.Rosevear@wrbm.com .