Feeding Britain’s Future programme brings the industry together to inspire the next generation and equip them with skills for work. IGD’s programmes in secondary schools bring to life the world of work, highlight the skills required to succeed in the workplace and showcase the variety of roles available in the food and grocery industry.

Future First and IGD

On Tuesday 30th January, Leigh Aspire students from The Leigh, Strood and Stationers’ Crown Woods Academies participated in an employability workshop, to help them understand the importance of networking, both in person and online, in securing career opportunities.  Facilitated by Sophie Rice and Daniel Chow at Future First (https://futurefirst.org.uk) and the Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD) (www.igd.com)

Lesson outcomes

  • Develop your employability skills including your confidence and communication in a professional setting
  • Develop your knowledge of the range of roles in the food and grocery industry and the skills required to succeed
  • Increase how prepared you feel for the world of work by providing you with practical tips about networking in person and online


Students practiced networking in person with the volunteers before examining how they can attempt to seek opportunities online through speculative emails and social media. Students learnt about the range of roles available in the food and consumer goods industry and the routes into these roles.

Group Work

Students were put in to small groups and volunteers from the following companies facilitated discussions:

  • Catherine Hancock – Human Resources Advisor at Co-op
  • Natalie Phillips – Category Manager at Brakes
  • Victoria Crouch – Head of Procurement at Brakes
  • Daniel Robinson – Area Manager at Aldi
  • Jane Davies – Finance Manager at Allied Bakeries

Volunteers shared their experiences in the world of work, offering information about how networking has helped them gain opportunities in their career. Volunteers also helped students understand the purpose of networking and the importance of ‘putting yourself out there’ to access opportunities, both in person and online.