IGD inspires the future: over 100,000 young minds trained at food industry workshops

IGD is marking National Apprenticeship Week with a milestone achievement with more than 100,000 young minds being trained in the food industry, and a sector-wide campaign set to launch to encourage a summer talent surge.

IGD, the essential partner to a thriving food and consumer goods industry, is calling on food companies to continue pledging support for its employability programmes in the run-up to this summer’s campaign, which aims to showcase the breadth and depth of careers available in the sector to the next generation.

This activity will form part of IGD’s role in leading the workforce response to The Independent Labour Review of Shortages in the Food Supply-Chain, as spearheaded by IGD CEO Sarah Bradbury and IGD chair Ash Amirhamadi.

IGD believes it is uniquely placed to convene all partners necessary to influence this positive change, with a heritage of over 100 years in training and educating the industry, and a vast sphere of stakeholders from industry, government, academia and the third sector. This was no more reflected than in the landmark ‘Feeding Britain’s Future’ scheme, which IGD initiated in 2012 and which has paved the way for the milestone of over 100,000 young people trained.

Fiona Miller, people programmes director at IGD said it is working closely with the Food and Drink Sector Council and said its considerable sphere of stakeholders this summer, to attract talent to our crucial industry, which is also Britain’s largest private-sector employer.

“We would encourage all food and consumer goods companies to sign up to our employability programmes, which will inspire more young people to explore opportunities at fantastic food companies through this summer’s campaign,” Miller said. “We are particularly interested in introducing them to stimulating careers offered within technical, digital, and engineering roles, in an industry that powers local economies.”

Of the 100,000 young people already trained through IGD’s initiatives, such as work experience weeks, employability sessions and virtual schools workshops, 93% of students surveyed said they have a better understanding of real-world workplaces.

This National Apprenticeship week, apprentices from companies ranging from PepsiCo to Premier Foods and Saputo Dairy UK will partner with IGD to share knowledge gained across engineering, continuous professional development and product management, among other specialisms, with an estimated 1500 young people across England, Scotland and Wales.

Former programme participant, Amelia Kay said: “I gained experience transforming theoretical knowledge into practical prowess, fuelling my confidence and skills. These invaluable foundations propelled me into the marketing world, and I am now loving my career as Planner at SMG, collaborating with leading FMCG brands.”

As 2024 progresses, students will also gain the benefit of being directly connected with some of the industry’s best and brightest engineering, digital and technical experts working for food manufacturers and retailers today.

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