The Countess of Wessex visited Marshfield Bakery in the Cotswolds on Thursday. The visit looked at how companies are helping unemployed people discover more about the range of jobs available within the industry.
Marshfield Bakery was started in 1984 by Paul and Lynne White in their farmhouse kitchen in Marshfield, which is a small village on the Cotswold way.
The business began to expand, with a popular choice of flapjacks, shortbreads, biscuits and loaf cakes.
Eventually, the business needed to expand and now operates on three sites in the area, employing approximately fifty people. The third site was opened in 2008 by The Duchess of Cornwall.
Local unemployed people got the chance to practise their interview skills with The Countess as she took part in a Feeding Britain’s Future (FBF) Skills for Work Month workshop at the family-owned Marshfield Bakery in Dyrham.
The event is part of a national campaign led by the food and grocery research and training charity IGD to help prepare thousands of schoolchildren, young people and the wider unemployed for the world of work.
The participants had the opportunity to see how the bakery is run and learn about the wide variety of roles available in the industry such as engineering, food science, marketing or merchandising. They also received employability skills training, such as help with writing stand out CVs, as well as the chance to try their hand at practical jobs such as flapjack making.
Chris Smith, director of Marshfield Bakery, said: “We were honoured to host Her Royal Highness at our bakery and introduce her to some of the local unemployed people who have benefited from taking part in the programme.”
“It gives us all an enormous buzz to see the eyes of the people at the workshops light up when they tour the bakery and begin to realise the range of opportunities available in the food industry.”
“They leave with smiles and positivity with ideas to help them take a fresh view of the options available to them.”
Joanne Denney-Finch, IGD chief executive, said: “It was great to have The Countess of Wessex attend one of our workshops and get an understanding of the positive work that the programme is achieving.”
This year, IGD also launched its Feeding Britain’s Future Schools Programme as part of which major food and grocery companies go into schools with the aim of inspiring 5,000 pupils about the industry and the world of work.
Photo credit: Dupe Creative 2011 via Flickr