Stephen Timms, Member of Parliament for East Ham, has pledged support for a national skills initiative and is calling on more East Ham companies to get involved. 

At a showcase event in Westminster, Stephen Timms tried his hand at iceing cakes under the watchful eye of a young person who had trained as a baker with Sainsbury’s. He spoke to young people about what it’s like to work in the industry and the challenges they faced securing a job.  

The event was to celebrate the IGD Feeding Britain’s Future campaign and raise awareness of the benefits to taking part – both for young people and businesses. 

Driven by food and consumer goods research charity IGD, working with JobCentre Plus, Feeding Britain’s Future is an initiative involving the entire food and grocery industry to help tackle youth unemployment.  As Britain’s biggest private sector employer, over 100 businesses from across the industry have pledged support for the campaign. 

Across 1,000 locations this September 12,000 young unemployed people will be offered pre-employment training. Farming, manufacturing, retail, wholesale and foodservice – and other companies related to the food and grocery industry – will share their advice and experience and showcase the huge variety of careers in the sector during Skills for Work Month.  

A successful week-long pilot in 2012 led 98% of young participants to be more likely to consider a career in the sector and feel more confident about applying for jobs. Of those surveyed, 99% rated the training as good or excellent. 

There were real benefits for businesses that took part too: 14% of participating employers offered job interviews to the young people they met, and 18% offered work experience opportunities.  

Now Stephen Timms wants more employers from East Ham to play their part and sign up at 

Speaking after the event, Stephen said: “The national skills initiative is a fantastic tool for getting young people in to work. At a time when many are struggling to find employment, such initiatives provide the framework needed to build the next generation of the country’s workforce. With huge benefits for not only the individual participants, but private businesses, the national skills initiative is an extremely positive scheme.”

AuthorStephen Timms