Many businesses have vowed to create training opportunities including graduate internships and apprenticeships in order to better meet the county’s skills needs.
Companies making the pledge include TMI Foods, Warner Edwards, Phipps Northampton Brewery Company, Northampton Business School, McManus Pub Co. Ltd., Weetabix and FFP Packaging Solutions.
FFP Packaging Solutions managing director Peter Dundas said: “Engaging with young people and making sure they receive the appropriate level of training and work experience is incredibly important for the sustainable future of our businesses.
“To make a formal pledge in this regard is to demonstrate the commitment necessary to make this happen and FFP Packaging Solutions support the initiative wholeheartedly.”
At the forefront of this commitment will be skills and Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership is playing a key role in helping food and drink businesses to establish closer links with schools, open their doors to students and offer fresh insight into the career opportunities available in the sector.
TMI Foods general manager Declan Kennedy said: “Investing in young people to ensure sustainability and growth is critical.
“Capitalising on the wealth of young talent in our community by connecting with schools, forging stronger links with students and offering apprenticeships in all areas of our industry will be key to ensuring sustainably and growth.
TMI Foods, a cooked meats ingredients company based in Northampton, has backed the Bright Futures campaign and is caling on other businesses to get involved and pledge their support.
Warner Edwards co-founder Tom Warner said: “We believe that investing in food and drink apprenticeships and graduate training is essential, not only to inspire the next generation of producers but also to ensure that the industry continues to prosper with local innovators and entrepreneurs leading the way.”
Northamptonshire’s food and drink sector includes more than twice the national average of producers providing one in seven local jobs. The county is home to around 150 Food & Drink manufacturers and over 600 registered farms.
NEP head of business and innovation Tim Bagshaw said the sector was an implortant contributor to the economy. He added: ”It is more important than ever to attract and train young people into this thriving Northamptonshire industry.”