Birmingham unemployment campaign proves a big success

“An invaluable opportunity,” says local MP.

A national campaign focused on getting unemployed people back into work proved to be a big success in Birmingham, with more than 100 youngsters from in and around the city attending a series of skills workshops at Bournville-based Mondelēz International.

Following the success of a pilot project in 2012, the entire food and grocery industry launched Feeding Britain’s Future – Skills for Work Month 2013; an initiative led by research charity IGD which gives young people access to farms, factories and stores operating in the food industry.

This year the campaign had over 100 companies sign up and offered more than 12,000 opportunities for young unemployed people across 1,000 locations nationwide.

Youngsters from Jobcentre Plus and St Basils in Birmingham had CV and interview sessions with recruitment experts, employee volunteers from across the site and local MP Steve McCabe to help them develop their employability skills and improve their chances of getting a job.

Steve McCabe, local MP, said: “Given the challenging job market this was an invaluable opportunity for the unemployed young people who I met. Getting advice on their CV and job interviews direct from those in the industry will help build confidence, develop their employability skills and improve their chances of getting a job.

“Like last year, it was great to see so many of Mondelēz International’s employees taking time out to of their working day to come and share their experiences with the young people and offer them advice. Having the opportunity to hear first-hand from the apprentices based in Bournville about their journey to employment and their passion for their job, was particularly inspirational.”

As well as workshops to improve their soft skills, all participants had the chance to meet with apprentices currently working on site, participate in a blind tasting session, and take a tour of the Bournville manufacturing plant to see how the business is run and the wide range of careers available.

Kelly Farrell, community affairs assistant manager at Mondelēz International, said: “We took part in the Feeding Britain’s Future programme in 2012 but this year was even more successful. It was extremely encouraging to see young unemployed people engaging with Mondelēz International employees and we look forward to continuing to work with the programme in the future.”