From education to employment

Dawnfresh Seafoods gives young people facing employment challenges a step up on the career ladder

James Ashall, chief executive of Movement to Work


Movement to Work (MtW), the work-placement charity, announced today that Dawnfresh Seafoods, one of the UK’s largest producers of fish and seafood, has taken on all the young people to whom it offered work-placement opportunities in the last 12 months.

Dawnfresh is a supplier to Marks & Spencer, a Movement to Work employer member. Marks & Spencer encourages employers in its supply chain to offer work placements to young people facing challenges getting into the workplace.

MtW has delivered 80,000 work placements over the last five years for young people who are not in education, employment or training and need extra support to get on the career ladder. Over 50% of those who have completed a MtW work placement have gone onto employment or back into education.

Dawnfresh Seafoods is based in Scotland and produces seafood for major retailers and food service in the UK and around the world. It owns and manages several trout-farming sites as well as specialised production facilities handling fresh, frozen, marinated, smoked and other seafood lines.  It employs 650 people across its sites and operates a range of services, from fish processing and supply through to the full product development cycle; from identifying opportunities to delivering the finished product. It is one of smallest employers in MtW’s network.

In the 12 months leading to April 2019, Dawnfresh offered five young people work placements through Movement to Work. MtW looks not just to achieve placements but to ensure that as many participants as possible can be offered meaningful employment as a result of showing what they are capable of once given a chance to develop ambition in real workplaces.

The group of young people included those who had been homeless, suffered addiction issues and have learning difficulties. All five have now been taken on as apprentices specialising in engineering, food and drink operations, supply chain management and a degree-apprenticeship in business management.

Helen Muir, HR director at Dawnfresh Seafoods, said:

“Despite difficulties in many of their backgrounds, these young people are an absolute inspiration to managers and colleagues alike. Their ambition for their own careers and Dawnfresh is infectious, they are loyal and we all love working with them. I am so grateful to all colleagues in Dawnfresh for helping us welcome these young people into the world of work, and I know we all feel that we are making a truly great contribution to society, as well as individuals and their families.

“We will be taking part in further schemes and we would encourage all employers to get involved in Movement to Work placement schemes. It’s great for business, morale and the young people themselves.”

James Ashall, chief executive of Movement to Work, said:

“Dawnfresh Seafoods is a relatively small business compared with most of our employer partners, so it’s great to see that not only is it keen to give young people a chance in the workplace who might not have had many chances before, it is taking on all the young people that have taken up its placements this year.

“Not only are these young people inspirational in their determination to succeed, whatever the odds, employers like Dawnfresh Seafoods really show the way in terms of innovating in recruitment for the future.”

About Movement to Work (MtW): A collaboration of UK employers committed to tackling youth unemployment through the provision of high-quality work experience and other work opportunities. 80,000 work placements have been made possible by employers, charities and Government working together through MtW. Collectively they have provided young people with diverse and empowering experiences ranging from hospitality to engineering. Working with MtW, employers create work experience placements for unemployed young people between 16-30 years of age, particularly those who have been out of work, education or training for some time.

MtW works with charity partners that specialise in addressing particular issues, which includes long-term unemployment, homelessness, mental-health and young offenders. These charities help to provide a pipeline of young people who will benefit from a work placement. MtW’s employer members include Accenture, BAE Systems, Barclays, BT, BUPA, Centrica, the Department for Work and Pensions, Diageo, HSBC, IBM, Marks and Spencer, Marriott International, NHS, Tesco, Unilever and Wates, amongst others.

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