Food company Nestlé have launched a job creation initiative to bring 1,900 employment opportunities to young people over the next three years as part of its European Youth Employment Initiative launched in Athens.
The programme will help 20,000 people across Europe under the age of 30 find employment; offering 10,000 jobs and creating 10,000 apprentice positions and traineeships by 2016.
It is anticipated that around 5 per cent of the employment opportunities announced will be available in Ireland specifically. Youth unemployment in Ireland currently stands at nearly 30 per cent.
Working with supplier McCurrach Ireland, Nestlé Ireland will offer paid work experience within its offices and sales teams to young people.
The ‘Populus’ study commissioned by Nestlé shows that that nine out of 10 businesses felt young people left school inadequately prepared to commence work. In addition, despite 62 per cent of business leaders believing that only work experience could give young people the skills they needed to gain employment, only 30 per cent felt that they got any value out of offering it.
’Sadly young people in Ireland are stuck in a catch-22 situation,’ said Fiona Kendrik, COE of Nestlé UK & Ireland. ‘They can’t get a job without experience, but can’t get experience without a job.
‘Companies need to help young people escape from this trap. As employers, we value young people with experience, so we have to provide young people with enough opportunities to gain it.’
Nestlé is the world's largest food group, well known for brands such as KitKat, Shredded Wheat and Nescafe.