On 16 October, FoodDrinkEurope together with its trade union partner, EFFAT (European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions), announced the launch of a new Europe-wide food and drink industry pledge on high-quality apprenticeships. Launched at an event in the European Parliament, in the presence of distinguished MEPs and speakers from the European Commission, trade unions and the industry, FoodDrinkEurope and EFFAT announced their commitments to address the challenges of youth unemployment. Siôn Simon, an MEP with a strong interest in tackling youth unemployment across Europe, and a member of the Employment Committee, chaired the event and made some very insightful remarks on the value of apprenticeships and readiness for work programmes in the food and drink sector.
The employment and employability of young people is a key commitment of the food and drink industry, Europe’s number one employer in the manufacturing sector. It is therefore crucial that industries and trade unions partner to look into innovative ways to recruit and improve succession planning, in order to make sure they build a qualified and sustainable labour force for the future and keep the sector attractive for the workforce already engaged.
With this pledge, FoodDrinkEurope and EFFAT will aim to empower young graduates and students by providing them access to quality training and practical experience through placements while at the same time raising awareness among FoodDrinkEurope members of the valuable contribution apprentices can make to their business. The Pledge will thus help fulfill two complementary objectives of labour market policies to fight youth unemployment and build up labour supply.
Check out some highlights from the event in the photos below and click here to read the Youth Apprenticeships Pledge.