A selection of Year 11 students were given a taste of the varying career options within the industry by Premier executive chef Mark Rigby, before being tasked to create a lunch menu comprised of seven savoury and sweet dishes in a ‘Ready Steady Cook’ style competition.
As well as guiding the students while they were in the kitchen, Rigby used the opportunity to speak to them about the importance of aiming higher in their careers, learning a trade well, finding a mentor and achieving a good work/life balance.
Commenting on the day, Rigby said: “The food industry has changed immensely and offers bigger, better and more interesting career opportunities. It’s not just the culinary basis of food that’s interesting, it’s also the science of food.
“It was great to be able to welcome in some of our local students to talk about this, get them involved in some cooking and make them aware of the varying career options available to them, many of which are possible through working at Premier Foods. I hope it inspired some of the students to consider a career within the industry.”
Naomi Ross – head teacher of one of the participating schools, Loreto College – said the visit to Premier’s head office was a great chance for our students to learn about how they can apply the skills they gain in their food technology lessons in real life.
Linking with schools
The partnership between Premier Foods and Loreto College was part of grocery think tank IGD’s Feeding Britain’s programme, which links food and grocery businesses with local secondary schools to build an ongoing relationship.
Anne Bordier, charity programmes director at IGD, said: “Now in its third year, the School Partnerships initiative is already having a big impact. Some 89% of students that took part in the initiative last year felt more prepared for the world of work.
“The School Partnerships initiative is part of IGD’s Feeding Britain’s Future campaign, which has been helping students since 2015 to develop their employability skills. The campaign brings the food and grocery industry together to inspire the next generation and has trained 35,000 students nationwide.”