More than 400 students attended the Fresh Careers Fair to showcase themselves as the next generation of fresh produce talent to some of the biggest names in the UK industry, during the bespoke event last week.
Attendance was up by about one third from last year’s inaugural event with a good mix of students and graduates alongside fresh produce giants including Mack, Total Produce, Berry World, Westfalia, Greencell and Freshtime UK.
In addition there were several big names from the foodservice, hospitality and recruitment sectors as well as education institutions including the University of Greenwich and the Institute of Food Science & Technology.
On top of that, several brave youngsters went into the dragon’s den to pitch themselves to both the fresh produce dragons and foodservice dragons.
PBUK will reveal more about the winners within the next few days – watch out for more on that.
Westfalia representatives told us how the calibre of students was “extremely high” this year with lots of interest from post graduates looking to break into fresh produce, while operations director of Lusso, part of independent catering and hospitality company CH&Co Group, Sharon Linney says the event really pulled in the right calibre of youngsters.
“It’s been a pleasure speaking to so many bright, passionate young people looking to kick start their careers,” she told PBUK during the event.
“There really is nothing else like the Fresh Careers Fair on the scene and we’ve been really impressed with the event this year – we’ll definitely be returning in 2018.”
Mack’s resourcing business manager, Caroline Callan described it as a “very high calibre event” and Greencell new product development manager, Matthew Churchill, told PBUK the company used the Fresh Careers Fair to sound out new graduates.
“The company does take on graduates and so we thought it would be a great idea to be present – with a colourful and attractive stand full of avocados – at the Fresh Careers Fair because there are just so many bright young people here.
“We wanted to get a sense of the types of jobs graduates are interested in.”