Nestle pledges to create 1,600 jobs and hundreds of paid work experience placements

Nestle has outlined plans to create 1,600 jobs and hundreds of paid work experience placements in the UK.

The food giant said it will create the jobs over the next three years and they will cover various roles such as sales assistants, shop floor staff and business management positions.

Nestle chief executive Fiona Kendrick said young people in the UK and Ireland currently find themselves in a"catch-22 situation" when it comes to finding employment, as they are unable to get a job without experience but they can't gain experience without a job.

"As employers we value young people with experience, so we have to provide them with enough opportunities to gain it," she added.

The multinational said it will create 300 paid work experience placements in its factories, offices and sales teams.

Nestle also said it will help social enterprise group MyKindaCrowd in providing skills and employability training to more than 12,000 school and college students.

The work placements will pay above the level of the national minimum wage and they will last for four weeks at a time, the company revealed.

Nestle made the announcement as it released research findings that suggest nine out of 10 businesses think young people are not well-equipped to move into employment when they leave school.

Two out of three respondents in the poll of 250 business leaders expressed the view that work experience is the best way of giving young people the skills they need to find work.

But a separate survey of 500 teenagers revealed that just a third were given any on-the-job training.

Skills minister Matthew Hancock said companies in the food and drink industry face a "critical" need to take action and address a skills gap by attracting young people into jobs.

"I welcome all businesses who offer high-quality work experience, which is vital for youngsters and firms to bridge the gap between school, college and work and help build a talent pipeline for the future. It is encouraging that Nestle, as a large UK employer, are helping to open up opportunities for young people across their business."

Copyright Press Association 2013