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Young job seekers in Birmingham gain valuable insight into food industry thanks to national campaign

22 September 2014

More than 35 unemployed young people from Birmingham recently visited Mondelez International as part of a nationwide campaign to improve youth employment prospects. Dedicated to providing opportunities for young people to gain exposure to the food and grocery industry, the Feeding Britain’s Future campaign is led by research charity IGD and provides unemployed youngsters with access to workshops in farms, factories and stores.

Partnering with Jobcentre Plus, Mondelez International invited participants to visit its historic Bournville base on Thursday 4th and Monday 15th September. Here they had the opportunity to observe the creation of some of the company’s most famous Cadbury brands.

Coaching and mentoring from Mondelez employee volunteers was a key element of both days and local MP Steve McCabe also attended to provide his support to the young people in attendance.

Steve McCabe, MP for Birmingham Selly Oak, said: “It is great to see businesses like Mondelez International giving time to help young people gain confidence to go into the world of work. Feeding Britain’s Future is a great initiative which helps tackle the challenge of youth unemployment.”

The food and grocery industry is the UK’s biggest private sector employer providing 3.6m - or one in seven – jobs. As such this insight programme has significantly increased young people from Birmingham’s understanding of the range of careers that are available at companies like Mondelez International.

Kelly Farrell, community affairs manager at the Bournville site said: “We’ve been involved with the Feeding Britain’s Future campaign since its launch in 2012 and this has been our most successful year yet. The participants were surprised to see the range of career opportunities available and the routes into our business, including our upcoming opportunities through our early careers programme and at Cadbury World. 

“The programme also enables our employee volunteers to use their expertise and skills to mentor a group of young people with the potential to be their peers in the future.  It’s a great way for them to support their local community and give something back.”

Last year the campaign reached more than 12,000 job seekers across more than 1,000 locations nationwide; creating more than 40,000 training opportunities for unemployed people since its conception in 2012.

Joanne Denney-Finch, Chief Executive at IGD, said: “We are extremely pleased with the level of support Feeding Britain’s Future campaign has received so far from companies across the food and grocery industry. Employing 3.6million people, we are Britain’s largest private sector employer accounting for one in seven of all jobs, and an industry that offers a breadth of opportunities at all levels.

“For the month of September, we asked businesses of all sizes to get involved in the campaign and offer pre-employment training. In such a tough marketplace, today’s young

unemployed need all the help and support they can get. We can’t expect them to play the game if nobody explains the rules. This is exactly what Feeding Britain’s Future is all about, bringing together organisations throughout the supply chain all around the UK to invest in the future of young people and the workforce of the next generation.”  

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