Great Britain

Coronavirus crisis sees sales of homegrown grub boom and rise in beer and chocolate jobs

THE coronavirus crisis has seen food brands rise to the challenge to feed the nation, with sales booming.

While big-name brands are busy expanding their workforces, thousands of small firms have stepped up to fill the shelves, too.

The food and drink industry contributes £28billion to the UK economy annually and employs 430,000 people — but 96 per cent are small or medium-sized firms.

And while 8,500 new products hit stores each year, three in five are made by small “challenger” brands, meaning food and drink is a tasty area for new job opportunities.

The lockdown has seen demand for certain products — including chocolate and beer — rocket, and job openings have soared, too.

Vacancies available range from developing products, sales and marketing, distribution and design, to even starting your own brand.

The chocolate industry is worth £1.1billion to our economy and dozens of firms have set up in recent years.

Among them are doisyanddam.com, founded by pals Edward Smith and Richard Wilkinson, with products sold in stores including Sainsbury’s.

Edward, 31, says: “A typical day involves eating my weight in chocolate. I know that sounds fun, but try tasting six new products before lunch and still having an appetite.

CHANGING CUSTOMER HABITS

“There’s space for small brands to develop ideas which respond to changing customer habits. Chocolate is one of those areas.”

Young Foodies is the UK’s largest community of food and drink businesses.

Co-founder Theadora Alexander says: “There are hundreds of brand teams you can join, with opportunities in some of the most exciting roles you’ll find anywhere.”

See youngfoodies.co.uk to find out more details.

On a home run

Could coronavirus start a home-working revolution?

Three in ten of us believe flexible working will become the nation’s preferred way to work.

And 43 per cent say they would ask for a remote-working option in a future job, according to a new report.

A quarter of workers claim commuting left them exhausted before they even started work.

Chris Biggs of accountants Theta Financial Reporting, which carried out the poll, said: “Covid-19 is having a huge impact on business and productivity at the moment.

“Even as offices and co-working spaces reopen, the appetite of employees to return immediately may be diminished.

“Employers will need to look at more permanent solutions.”

Jobspot

FARMFOODS is recruiting for store assistants and warehouse roles.

Search at farmfoods.co.uk/join-us.php.

THOUSANDS of care roles are available in the North West, including cooks, care workers and cleaners.

See greater.jobs/search-and-apply.

Prepare to work in crisis

Workers under 25 will be the hardest hit by the Covid-19 fallout, a new study from the Institute for Fiscal Studies has found.

Here Sophie Phillipson, founder of hellograds.com, which offers tips for those graduating from university, reveals how they can find work during the pandemic.

  1. Focus your job search on companies crucial to the coronavirus response. Sectors seeing the biggest hiring increases include transport and logistics, hardware and networking, supermarkets, food production and healthcare.
  2. It’s likely you will have to alter your expectations. Don’t expect to be able to pursue your career aspirations in this climate. Any work looks better than none on your CV.
  3. If you are struggling to land paid work, volunteer. There are thousands of community roles delivering food and medicines to people who can’t leave their homes.
  4. Future employers may ask what you did during lockdown. If you’re not working or volunteering, you could use the time to access free courses and trial free software to develop new skills.
  5. Grow your professional network on LinkedIn. Those who have been furloughed or lost work may have more time to answer your industry questions.
  6. Get ready for when things pick up again. Get your CV and LinkedIn profile sparkling, and research a list of companies to target.

Amazon's amazin'

Amazon is delivering 70 new roles for apprentices, including in software development, digital marketing, automation and ­network engineering.

Jonathon Williams is an engineering technician at Amazon’s Swansea fulfilment centre – a role he landed after completing a three-year apprenticeship.

He said: “While I was an apprentice, Amazon paid my course fees as well as a wage, so I was earning while learning.

“As I spent my first year off-site with other Amazon apprentices, I now have friends all over the country and we still meet up.”

Inspired by Jonathon, his twin brother Alex joined Amazon’s scheme – and is in the final year of his ­engineering apprenticeship.

See amazon.jobs/apprentices to apply.

Mum-of-two stockpiled dozens of eggs, fruit and sauces but had to bin it all

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