Nestlé UK & Ireland is a subsidiary of Nestlé SA, the world’s leading nutrition, health and wellness company.
Like many employers in the food and drink sector in recent years, Nestlé UK & Ireland found itself facing a number of recruitment challenges. Despite its portfolio of impressive brands, Nestlé UK & Ireland has found it challenging to attract the very best talent into the sector. Research conducted by the National Skills Academy for Food & Drink found that many young people do not consider the food and drink industry to be a sector of choice. The research showed that they thought life in a food and drink production environment was repetitive, lacking in progression opportunities and unimaginative. The statistics highlighted that the food and drink industry has an image problem with young people.
A particular focus for Nestlé UK & Ireland is to encourage more young people into the business to support succession planning and to enhance the skillset within its existing workforce. In 2013 Nestlé UK & Ireland committed to creating 1900 work opportunities for young people across three years via its Youth Employment Initiative. Jill Coyle, Apprentice Programme Lead, Nestlé UK & Ireland, said: “We needed to put Nestlé UK & Ireland and in turn, the food and drink industry, front and centre as a sector of choice for young people. To achieve that we had to start shattering the myths around working in the sector and highlighting the career development opportunities available.”
Nestlé UK & Ireland has committed to creating opportunities for young talent via a number of routes, including apprenticeships, graduate schemes, internships and placements and is always looking for new channels to promote these opportunities to young people in a format that is appealing to them. In 2015, as part of its membership, Nestlé UK & Ireland signed up to the NSAFD’s ‘Tasty Careers’ programme, an initiative to promote jobs and careers in the food and drink industry to young people.
The Tasty Careers initiative was developed for NSAFD members to bring together industry career information and live industry vacancies, to make them instantly accessible to young people and to help secure the next generation of food and drink manufacturing talent.
The website – www.tastycareers.org.uk – features straight-talking descriptions of typical job roles across nine different categories, including production operations, buying, engineering, bakery and marketing and allows member organisations, such as Nestlé UK & Ireland, to advertise their roles. Backed by a major social media outreach campaign, the Tasty Careers website also includes an innovative interactive careers map detailing the wide variety of careers available within the industry in functions such as finance, sales, marketing, supply chain and logistics and product development.
Included within the Tasty Careers initiative is the chance for businesses to develop Ambassadors for the industry and, crucially for their own business, form part of a network of Tasty Careers Ambassadors that visit local schools.
As part of the scheme, employers such as Nestlé UK & Ireland can nominate Ambassadors from their business to undergo a two day training course which teaches them about the food and drink industry, the variety of job roles on offer and the potential career paths that exist. The Ambassadors also undergo comprehensive training on public presentation skills. This enables them to then go out into local communities and schools and raise awareness of the range of opportunities, salaries and potential careers that exist within the food and drink industry, whilst simultaneously promoting their employer.
To date, Nestlé UK & Ireland has filled more than one hundred of its vacancies with the support of Tasty Careers and the company boasts three fully trained Ambassadors, with plans to put more employees through the training during 2016. Jill Coyle, Apprentice Programme Lead, Nestlé UK & Ireland, said: “Tasty Careers is a fantastic initiative which supports the industry to highlight the diversity of opportunities available. Using Tasty Careers not only allows us to post our job vacancies, but the website also offers information on the roles and the opportunities – it’s a one stop shop for young people.
“The Ambassadors scheme works brilliantly as it allows school children to hear from their peers about life in the food and drink industry. We get very positive feedback from schools. They love when our Ambassadors come out and share the stories of what they did and how they did it.”
The employees who have been through the Ambassador training have been very positive about their experiences and the quality of the training they received from NSAFD. Said Jill: “They like learning more about the food and drink industry, building their confidence in presenting and learning about the other attendees and their businesses as they build a network of contacts. They love the interactivity of the sessions.
“The NSAFD’s Tasty Career and Ambassador initiatives are important for the food and drink industry because they paint the picture of the sector – the diversity, the technologies, the progress, the advancement, the challenges and how to overcome them. We need to make the food and drink industry a sector where the very best talent wants to work and I believe NSAFD and Tasty Careers play a key role.”
Further information on the Nestlé UK & Ireland can be found at: www.nestlecareers.co.uk/academy/content/