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Minister of State George Eustice joins food and grocery industry at employability workshop

George Eustice, Minister of State for DEFRA, met a group of young unemployed people taking part in IGD’s Feeding Britain’s Future Skills for Work Month yesterday, to learn how the food and grocery industry is helping improve their employability skills.

The Minister of State was at a Feeding Britain’s Future Skills workshop at DEFRA’s headquarters in Westminster. The workshop is part of a national campaign led by food and grocery research and training charity IGD, to help prepare thousands of schoolchildren, young people and the wider unemployed for the world of work.

The participants had a chance to meet and receive advice from people working in food and grocery companies, and learn about the wide range of roles available in the industry such as procurement, food science, marketing or sales. William Hamilton, from British Sugar, provided insight into his career journey as an apprentice in the industry.

Participants also took part in interactive exercises that helped them to identify the different skills needed in a range of roles, while an exercise to invent and design a new chocolate bar rounded off the workshop.

Speaking at the event, Food Minister George Eustice said: “The UK’s food and farming industry generates over £100 billion a year for our economy and provides countless jobs and opportunities.

“I want young people to see this high-tech industry as a top career destination with a diverse and exciting range of opportunities. Having skilled and talented people on board is the key to boosting an industry that is the bedrock of our economy.”

Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive, IGD, said: “Feeding Britain’s Future is helping to make a real impact on thousands of young people considering their future and actively seeking work. Our industry is 3.8 million strong, accounting for one in seven jobs, making us the largest private sector employer; this initiative is the way in which we can support the next generation of industry talent.

“Skills for Work Month has been the core of this initiative since the launch in 2012 and over the years, companies from across the industry have engaged to help support not only their local communities but also the wider industry.”

The Feeding Britain’s Future Skills for Work Month is part of IGD’s wider Feeding Britain’s Future campaign, which is now in its fifth year. Through the two strands of Skills for Work Month (which runs in September/October) and the Schools Programme (which runs throughout the year), IGD has helped more than 16,000 people in 2015 alone.

For more information about the campaign, please visit 


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