A new scheme to help food and drink manufacturing and processing companies across England to find new recruits in their local community has been launched by industry skills body, The National Skills Academy for Food & Drink.
The Tasty Jobs programme has been specifically-designed to assist food manufacturing firms who face difficulties finding local people who are ready to work in the industry and have basic industry skills and industry work experience.
Under the scheme, which is cost-free, a selected group of local job seekers are trained in basic industry skills such as food safety along with the production and job knowledge specific to participating companies.
In return, companies agree to host the training and trainees lose no benefit entitlement while training. Participating businesses have to guarantee a job interview to all trainees who successfully complete the course but remain free to decide whether or not to make a formal employment offer after interview.
“For businesses, Tasty Jobs solves the problem of finding people living nearby with the right skills and work experience to make an immediate impact,” said Academy CEO Justine Fosh. “As training takes place over a few weeks in the prospective working environment, trainees get to know whether the company is one they would like to commit to and businesses get a far more realistic picture of a prospective employee than they can get in typical job interview.
“The result is a pool of committed and genuinely job and industry-ready local recruits resulting in lower staff turnover than might be the case with other recruitment routes and no basic training investment risk for the companies taking part.”
The National Skills Academy for Food & Drink’s initial pilot of the scheme has seen more than 500 people gain long-term, permanent positions with local food and drink companies and Tasty Jobs is now being rolled out across England.
“We take away all the hassle of arranging initial training by involving specialist industry training providers,” said Fosh. “There are no risks and no catches. We involve the company in the initial selection of trainees and work to their brief in terms of any company or job-specific training content they require over and above the basic knowledge required to work in the food industry.
“Any eventual hiring decision remains with the company but the calibre and attitude of trainees coming through Tasty Jobs has been such that the majority have been offered posts immediately with those unsuccessful remaining at the top of the pile for future vacancies.”