Business

Nestle to create 1,600 jobs for young people

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionNestle is hiring almost 2,000 young workers - the BBC hears from one engineer and the firm's UK boss

KitKat maker Nestle has said it will create 1,600 jobs for young people in the UK and Ireland over the next three years.

The food giant says it will also create 300 paid work experience placements.

The job roles will include sales assistants, shop floor workers and management positions.

Nestle boss Fiona Kendrick told the BBC: "We believe industry needs to step up and play its role in bringing youth unemployment down."

"Young people in the UK and Ireland are stuck in a Catch-22 situation - they can't get a job without experience, but can't get experience without a job."

Ms Kendrick said the food and drink industry was facing an ageing workforce and "a distinct lack of engineers".

On the economy, she thought consumers still lacked confidence, despite recent signs that UK growth was accelerating.

Ill-equipped

Nestle's announcement came as it published research showing that nine out of 10 businesses felt young people left school ill-equipped to start work.

Steve Huckerby, spokesman for the GMB union, said: "Young people in the UK have had a raw deal because of the government's austerity measures, with reduced employment opportunities and almost a million young people unemployed.

"This announcement by Nestle gives hope to young people," he added.

Skills Minister Matthew Hancock said: "The food and drink industry is facing a pressing skills gap and it is critical that businesses take action to engage and attract young people into the sector.

"It is encouraging that Nestle, as a large UK employer, are helping to open up opportunities for young people across their business."

Nestle is the world's largest food group, well known for brands such as KitKat, Shredded Wheat and Nescafe.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites