Birmingham-based 2 Sisters, which owns Holland’s Pies and Fox’s Biscuits, is providing young unemployed people with practical skills “that will help them find the right job”.

This October 2 Sisters has created more than 350 learning opportunities across 29 sites nationwide, as part of Skills for Work Month.

This has included help with CV preparation and interview skills, as well as provision of factory tours and work experience.

Jenni Chambers, head of talent at 2 Sisters, said: “The most sustainable way to get the talent you want is to cultivate it yourself. 2 Sisters Food Group recognise this, and we are continuously developing our talent plans across the business.”

She added that young people often don’t see the food industry as their first choice for a career: “We’ve learnt that identifying the right people first time allows their careers to grow and we have many people that started on the shop floor now running senior teams.”

Dan Whillock, Scunthorpe general manager, agreed: “I started as a temporary factory operative in 1999 and very quickly became aware of the extent of opportunities on this site and in the wider food industry.”

Last month it was announced that 2 Sisters division Gunstones Bakery could cut over 500 staff as the company has lost a contract with Marks & Spencer.