Scotmid Co-operative has provided a series of skills training workshops across Scotland to help tackle youth unemployment, as part of a nationwide initiative by the food and grocery industry.
The Feeding Britain’s Future campaign is aimed at helping young unemployed people gain the skills they need to get back into work.
Scotmid delivered the employment workshops to 20 young people at its stores in Edinburgh, Uddingston and Inverness during September and October. The workshops gave participants the opportunity to improve their CV, learn and practice their interview skills, and receive help on completing job application forms. Scotmid also provided advice and support to help the participants gain future employment.
As well as help with employability skills, participants had the chance to speak to staff, hear from local suppliers, tour the store and warehouse to see how the business is run, and find out about the wide range of careers available. Candidates may now be considered for future work experience placements with Scotmid or one of the retailer’s local suppliers.
100% of the young people who took part in Scotmid’s workshops said they felt more confident about applying for a job, while 100% also said they were more like to consider a job in the food and grocery industry.
Andrew McKenzie, who completed the Uddingston workshop with Scotmid said: “I came along to find out more about the opportunities available and get some help on how to write a CV and prepare for interviews. It’s been really educational. I’ve also learn a lot about what Scotmid do, which I didn’t really know before.”
Samantha Daly, who also completed the workshop, said: “I decided to attend the workshop to get more experience on writing a CV, doing interviews and to find out how to get a job. I also wanted to find out more about Scotmid and the opportunities available. The workshop has been great.”
Feeding Britain’s Future, led by research charity IGD, is the first initiative of its kind, giving young people access to farms, factories and stores, and firsthand knowledge of the skills needed for a career in the food industry or elsewhere. In total, 190 companies around the country came together to help tackle youth unemployment in 1,200 locations.
Malcolm Brown, Head of Corporate Communications for Scotmid said: “This is the first time that Scotmid has been involved in Feeding Britain’s Future and we really enjoyed demonstrating our passion for what we do. It’s a great opportunity for young people who want to get back into work to learn essential employment skills and improve their chances of getting a job. The day was also about improving their confidence when applying for jobs and showing them how they can build their career in the retail sector. We have shown candidates that Scotmid has opportunities across a huge range of skill sets – from operations, to customer service, marketing, profit protection, logistics, finance, graphic design, stock management and lots more.”
Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive, IGD, said: “The UK food and grocery industry employs 3.7 million people – making us Britain’s biggest private sector employer. With that scale comes responsibility – we have a vital role to play in tackling youth unemployment by sharing our advice and experience. Feeding Britain’s Future is bringing the industry together to share the rules of the game with young people. We hope young people from in and around Edinburgh will make the most of this opportunity to develop their skills and grow their confidence.”