Food firms support ‘See inside manufacturing’ plan

By Mike Stones

- Last updated on GMT

Students toured CCE's Edmonton plant, before quizzing top executives about food and drink industry careers
Students toured CCE's Edmonton plant, before quizzing top executives about food and drink industry careers

Related tags: Drink manufacturing, United biscuits, Food and drink federation

Nestlé, Mondelēz International and Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) have joined other food and drink manufacturers to invite more than 1,600 students, teachers and careers advisors to visit their businesses this month as part of the ‘See Inside Manufacturing’ (SIM) plan.

The project aims to improve the image of food and drink manufacturing and inspire young people to consider careers in sectors such as food and drink.

Other firms taking part in the project – run by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) in conjunction with organisations such as the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) – included: United Biscuits, Thorntons, British Sugar, KP Snacks, Mars, PepsiCo and Wrigley’s.

Mars, PepsiCo and Wrigley’s

The visits began this week with a tour by students from Preston Manor High School of CCE’s site in Edmonton. After an introduction to production processes on the site, students quizzed the executive management team on industry careers.

Simon Baldry, md of CCE, said the SIM programme allowed firms to show their commitment to the development of young people.

“The programmes have involved opening up our facilities by dedicated staff, who are highlighting the career opportunities available across the industry, and providing valuable insight into our business and the wider industry,”​ said Baldry.

“Our five UK factory-based education centres have built an excellent relationship with schools across the country, hosting over 20,000 students a year and engaging them with national competitions such as The Real Business Challenge.”

Such programmes will, hopefully, inspire students to choose a career in food and drink manufacturing and become business leaders of the future, he added.

Dispel old myths

Business minister Michael Fallon hoped the project would help to dispel old myths about factories and inspire the next generation of engineers.

“So far, the scheme has been hugely successful in doing this, with nearly nine-in-10 young participants saying they would now think about a career in manufacturing.”

Fallon went on to say the food and drink industry houses some of the most recognisable businesses in the UK. “I’m pleased that these leading businesses across the country have come on board together with the FDF to open their doors to the public,” ​he added.

Melanie Leech, director general, said the industry was dynamic and innovative with a wealth of roles to offer.                                                    

“There is no doubt that skills are the driving force to a successful industry,”​ said Leech. “Engaging with young people and bringing to life a career in food and drink manufacturing is a key priority for FDF.”

More information is available here​.

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1 comment

Great opppotunity for the learners

Posted by Rajeev Sharma,

This will open up great opportunity for all stakeholders, not limited to students. Transparency is the need of hour. What raw materials are you using? How capable are the manufacturing processes to deliver safe food? It's the concern of manufacturer and government equally. The consumer of course pays for safe food. Thanks to the industry. It should be a precedent for other countries to follow.

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