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F&B industry will need 170,300 recruits by 2020 to meet consumer demand

Nestlé to debut live Twitter debate

By Jenny Eagle+

05-Mar-2014
Last updated on 05-Mar-2014 at 12:30 GMT

Nestlé to chair Twitter debate.
Nestlé to chair Twitter debate.

Nestlè UK and Taste Success, an industry-led campaign by the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) will host a live Twitter Q&A with engineering graduates from its apprenticeship scheme from midday-2pm tomorrow (Thursday, March 6).

Hannah Whall, and James Cheema, project engineers on Nestlé UK’s Engineering Graduate Programme will chair the debate on @FDFTasteSuccess Twitter Takeover using the hashtag #askNestle ahead of National Careers Week at the Big Bang young scientists and engineers fair, March 13-16, at Birmingham NEC, in the UK.

Hannah Whall

Big Bang Fair

Whall, 23, studied chemical engineering at Newcastle University for four years and graduated with a Masters. She joined the Nestlé graduate scheme in September 2013 and is based in Halifax. She will spend one year working in the confectionery division then the second year in the beverage sector.

She told FoodProductionDaily.com Nestlè has been involved with the Big Bang Fair for a number of years now and supports the event by sending graduates to the show.

This year, the manufacturer will send eight of its graduates to sit in on the Taste Success booth, telling visitors how they got the job, what it involves and how to apply.

A typical day for me is managing contracts, pre-planning of contractors and planning ahead of work that needs to be done,” said Whall.

We test the feasibility of new products and get quotes from other contractors and suppliers and I work with the food quality team to ensure all quality standards and health and safety are met.

It’s difficult to narrow the job down into one thing because its multi-faceted; from dealing with contractors to basic design work, or creating engineering drawings and calculations. That’s why we want to spread the word about what we do with the live Twitter Q&A.”

James Cheema

Fast-paced environment

Whall said she got the job at Nestlè by filling in an online application form on its website then was invited to take a psychometric and maths test.

She then took part in a telephone interview, followed by a one day trial at an assessment centre with group presentations from each of the candidates before being selected for a final interview.

I was very happy to get the job because I really wanted to work in the food industry, especially for a well-known manufacturer,” she said.

It’s such a large company that there are many opportunities to work in engineering both here and abroad. It’s a fast-paced environment that’s always changing depending on consumer demand. It’s exciting for me to be near the production line and see the products being made.”

Whall said the pros of the job were the flexible working hours and knowing you had made a product that is going to make someone happy, like a chocolate bar.

The Big Bang Fair

'Can't cut corners'

The cons are making sure you are ‘always on the ball’ in regard to monitoring hygiene practices and safety regulations. There are no shortcuts in this job, you have to be agile in your thinking, you can’t cut corners,” she added.

The Twitter debate gives us a chance to be honest with people about the perks and drawbacks to the job. We want to attract people to the industry but if it’s not right for them we won’t do them any favours by not giving them all the facts.”

To get involved with the Twitter debate send your questions about engineering here or tweet the FDF Taste Success team on @FDFTasteSuccess using the hashtag #askNestle.

Food and drink is the UK’s largest manufacturing sector employing around 400,000 people. By 2020 the industry anticipates it will need over 170,300 recruits to meet growing demand and skills shortages in areas such as engineering. The industry is addressing this through its careers campaign Taste Success and through raising food and drink’s profile at events such as the Big Bang Fair.

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