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Potato open days get to root of Lincoln unemployment

Potato day (L-R): Matt-Cook, Bradley Cross, HR and logistics director Simon-Telfer, Matt Meen, Kyle Johnson.

A potato supplier near Lincoln has held training sessions this week for local unemployed youths.

Branston Ltd gave the youngsters, aged 16-24, the chance to taste its potato products and view their factory and surrounding facilities.

Groups were given free skills training, with advice on CV writing and interview techniques. The firm also highlighted jobs and careers available at its Lincolnshire site.

The two half-day sessions were held in partnership with Jobcentre Plus to support Feeding Britain’s Future- Skills for Work Week; a national scheme taking place between September 17 and 21 to help tackle youth unemployment.

Mike Harwood, Branston’s NPD manager, and Simon Telfer HR manager with the young people

Simon Telfer, HR and logistics director at Branston said: “We believe it’s really important to nurture young talent in the region and we have a ‘grow your own’ ethos for developing skills.

“The issue of unemployment amongst 16 – 24 year olds is one that affects our local community and as a large employer we want to help tackle the problem.

“We hope that through these seminars we’ll be able to show local young people the great opportunities available within the food industry, which they otherwise may not have considered before.”

Branston Ltd, based in the village of Branston just outside of Lincoln, is one of the largest potato suppliers in the country and employs more than 300 people at its Lincolnshire site.

Jean Doğantekin of Jobcentre Plus said: “It’s been fantastic that such a big local employer like Branston has got involved in this.

“It’s been really interesting for the young people to see that working at Branston is not just about sorting potatoes, but it’s about long term careers too.”