Over 50 food and drink businesses sign up for new industry job scheme
08 September 2022
More than 50 food and drink companies have pledged their support for a new scheme designed to offer a vital leg up for jobseekers in their careers.
The Food and Drink Careers Passports will provide training and qualifications, in areas including food handling and safety, to job hunters in England and Wales seeking entry level roles.
Launched by the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink (NSAFD) and the Food and Drink Federation (FDF), the Careers Passport will speed up interview short-listing and job onboarding, saving time and money for manufacturers, and fast-tracking eager and committed new talent into the sector.
There are currently 6.3 vacancies per 100 employers in food and drink manufacturing – 50% more than the national average. This initiative is an important step in helping industry tackle its stubborn labour shortages and to help recruit the workers vital to keep production flowing and goods on shop shelves.
The chief executive of the FDF Karen Betts said:
“The UK has a brilliant food and drink manufacturing sector, with companies and sites in every region across the country. We’re the lifeblood of communities, employing almost 500,000 people who make the fantastic range of food and drink that everyone, everywhere across the UK, can enjoy.
“But our sector faces challenging labour shortages, across a wide range of roles at every level. The Careers Passport is an essential part of the solution, building a pipeline of homegrown talent that will benefit our industry for years to come.
The chief executive of the NSAFD Louise Cairns said:
"UK Food & Drink's Careers Passport represents a step change in how the industry is opening its doors to eager new talent. It's positive proof that Passport holders have made a choice to seek a career in food and drink and put the work in to prove it.
“More and more companies are recognising the value the Passport offers - both to their business and to jobseekers. Alongside the FDF, we've been delighted by the weight of industry interest and involvement to date and we're certain the official launch will make the Passport a familiar part of future recruitment strategies."
The online courses will ensure jobseekers can access their training wherever they are in the country and have been designed through close collaboration with businesses to ensure their content reflects the highest industry standards.
The Food and Drink Careers Passport has already seen 57 companies from across England and Wales pledge their support. From huge employers such as Coca Cola, Mars and Britvic to smaller firms like Mona Daries and Geary’s Craft Bakers, they all see the benefit the scheme will bring to their business.
The Head of Early Careers and Apprenticeships at Coca Cola Sharon Blyfield said:
“The introduction of the Food & Drink Careers Passport has allowed us to provide better insight for those starting a career in the industry. To-date, not have we only used it with our Kickstarters but also for those joining our graduate programme.
"During the next 12 months we will look to expand this opportunity to our apprentices. Anyone who has had the opportunity to go through the modules of the passport, will have a head start when they apply and join an organisation in this sector.”
To mark the launch of Career Passports, the NSAFD and the FDF held a joint reception at the Houses of Parliament where jobseekers, manufacturers and MPs discussed ways to help the sector recruit new staff and ensure the success of the scheme.
To pledge the support of your business or for further information on the Careers Passports, please visit the FDF website.