From education to employment

UB Offers School Leavers a Window of Opportunity

One of the UK’s largest manufacturing firms, United Biscuits (UB), is hoping to boost skills in the manufacturing sector by offering young people advice on careers in the industry.

UB employs over 12,000 people in the UK and Europe and is offering a range of opportunities for young people, such as apprenticeships, on the School Leavers website. UB will also be pushing its recruiting agenda by attending SkillsCity North West at the G-Mex Centre in Manchester this week. At the event UB will be devising interesting ways of attracting young people to the manufacturing sector using some interactive activities, such as remote-controlled fork lift trucks.

Industry Hit by Lack of Training

The manufacturing sector has been hit hard by a lack of training and recruitment in the last few decades and Employers are concerned that one-in-ten sector vacancies cannot be filled, due to a shortage of suitably qualified candidates. The lack of a sufficiently trained workforce has seen UK businesses lose out to better prepared competitors.

Manufacturing Director of UB, Mark Thorpe, expressed his support for the initiative, saying: “As a major operator in the food and drink manufacturing sector, it is our duty, as well as our prerogative, to address the skills shortage by encouraging bright young people into the industry. We would be working against ourselves not to.

“Research shows that young people view manufacturing jobs as “dirty” and “boring”,” he continued. “We hope the school leaver web site will help dispel that myth and make them realise the truly exciting career opportunities in this sector.”

Ideal Positive Approach

UB’s positive approach to the recruitment and training of young people is an ideal that Mr Thorpe extols: “UB believes in investing heavily in the training and development of its workforce. We have training programmes designed to equip first line managers with the skills to improve the productivity, efficiency and safety of their line on a day-to-day basis.

“UB also identifies people with the ability to progress quickly and arranges for fast track development programmes to meet their full potential,” he concluded. “Finally, as a company we like to promote from within, therefore there will be much potential for further career progression for those showing the right type of qualities”.

Dan Atkinson

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