The world’s biggest food manufacturer pledged to create more than 600 employment opportunities a year for people under the age of 30. These would include roles at all levels, from factory floor operators and sales functions to business management.
The programme is part of Nestlé’s European Youth Employment Initiative, which was also launched in Athens this morning.
The scheme will help 20,000 people under 30 across Europe find employment, offering 10,000 jobs and 10,000 apprentice positions and traineeships by 2016.
“With youth unemployment steadily rising we all need to play our part in creating opportunities for the next generation,” said Nestlé UK & Ireland ceo Fiona Kendrick, who was appointed a commissioner for the UK Commission for Employment and Skills earlier this year.
‘Help bridge the gap’
“Industry must step up and help young people bridge the gap between education and employment,” she said. “We cannot leave this problem to the government and schools.”
In addition, Nestlé is teaming up with social enterprise group MyKindaCrowd to offer skills and employability training to 12,000 school and college students close to Nestlé UK sites.
According to the latest government statistics, excluding those in full-time education, 664,000 people aged 16 – 24 were unemployed in the UK from July to September 2013.
Nestlé’s announcement coincided with the publication of an online Populus survey, commissioned by Nestlé, indicating nine out of 10 businesses felt young people left school ill-equipped to start work.
But although 62% of 250 business leaders responding to the study said only work experience could give young people the skills they needed to gain employment, only 30% felt they benefited from it.
Work experience important
A total of 79% of teachers and 62% of students replying to the survey agreed work experience was important to prepare young people for employment.
But only 35% of young people were given any workplace training and only 56% had the opportunity to shadow an employee and learn about the business they were working in.
In September, Nestlé opened its Fast Start Programme, offering A-Level students six month placements in commercial functions while they studied for a Professional Business Practice degree at Sheffield Hallam University.
Nestlé said today’s announcements built on the work of the Nestlé Academy, launched in 2011, which offers internships, graduate courses, apprenticeships and job placements.
Kendrick is shortlisted for Food Manufacture’s Personality of the Year Award in this year’s Food Manufacturing Excellence Awards, held on November 21 at London’s Hilton Park Lane Hotel.
For more information, and to book a table on the night, email email@example.com or call 01293 610422.
For the inside scoop on the latest job opportunities within food and drink manufacturing visit Food Manufacture’s job website, Foodmanjobs, by clicking here.