Employability Workshop for Third Years

Employability Workshop for Third Years

On Monday, we were delighted to welcome IGD (Institute of Grocery Distribution), a registered charity involved in research and training for the food and grocery industry. ‘Feeding Britain’s Future’ is their latest employability programme and we were delighted to be able to welcome five superb ambassadors from IGD including participants from Waitrose (the John Lewis Partnership) and Tesco.

The ambassadors helped a select group of Third Year pupils to find out more about the industry and learn about employability skills and how they’ll help them in their future careers.

Keith Rosser, Partner and Manager in Contract and Service Development (Waitrose), Louise Doyle, Technical and Commercial Manager (Waitrose), Lauren Fairhall, Partner and Retails Change Coordinator (Waitrose) and Colin Hamilton, Store Director Central Convenience (Tesco) joined Dan Simpson from IGD to engage with our pupils and teach them about the variety of roles within the industry whilst encouraging them to think about their skills and how they might develop them, over the next few years.

Each guest spoke a little about their role and the subjects they studied at school and university – Business and English seemed to have been popular A Level choices.

We learnt that:

One in seven jobs in the UK are in the food and grocery industry

49% of all money spent in UK shops (not online) is spent in food and grocery shops

China and the UK lead the world in the amount spent on online food and grocery shopping

We also looked at the huge number of jobs and professions behind the design, production and sale of a simple pre-packed sandwich, from a chef, food technologist, finance manager, engineer and delivery driver to an advertising designer, a dietician, a brand manager, package designer and buyer – and these are just a few!

The pupils then had the chance to ask some searching questions which included; how might Brexit affect their jobs? Would delivering food by drone work? Did you know you wanted to get a job in this profession when you were at school? What are the challenges you face in your role?

They also learnt about networking, and practised this through a game of network bingo, and they talked about their skills and how they might improve them as they get older.

We finished off the session with our guests offering one piece of advice that they wished they had known when they were 13 and 14,  and funnily enough they were gems that have been heard many times before – choose subjects that you love, learn about yourself more and focus on the skills you are good at, follow your dreams and never give up, don’t worry if you don’t have a plan – things will fall into place along your career journey and be confident in what you can achieve – you are all exceptional young people who, with hard work and determination, will go far in whatever route you choose.

It was a wonderful feel-good event which we’re confident will have benefited everyone who attended!

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