ON A ROLL SANDWICH COMPANY is encouraging young people to look at careers in the food industry as part of World Youth Skills Day on Saturday 15 July.

According to the United Nations, young people between the ages of 18 and 24 are almost three times more likely to be unemployed than adults and exposed to lower quality jobs.

James Stoddart, Managing Director of On a Roll had a similar experience as a young person, originally being rejected from a catering course and having to work four jobs whilst at college including being a waiter and working at a fruit market. He set up On a Roll ten years ago after making a bet with a baker friend that he could make money from sandwiches.

James said: “Running a business is a lot of hard work and it takes a lot of different skills including managing a budget, being able to work with a variety of people and being able to be practical along with having the general skills you need to create a niche in the industry. It is vital that young people are encouraged to nurture these skills.”

There has been a growth of young entrepreneurs over the last few years with more than 55% of young people between the ages of 16 and 25 aspiring to set up their own firm.

Going beyond the kitchen with Hartlepool College

To give young people a taste of the action, On a Roll invited in students studying Hospitality and Catering courses at Hartlepool College of Further Education, for an exclusive tour of the factory and chat with James Stoddart.

On a Roll’s #BeyondTheKitchen tour encouraged students to consider looking at the business side of the food industry and running their own businesses.

The 1st, 2nd and 3rd year students asked staff questions, got to interview James Stoddart, take a tour of the factory and try some of the latest products.

Kevin Dove, Hospitality and Catering Lecturer at Hartlepool College said: “The tour showed students that they didn’t have to stick to the usual route of working in a kitchen after they complete their course.

“Some of the students weren’t sure what they wanted to do after they qualified but the tour has given them a lot of valuable insight into combining their catering experience with running a business.

“We really aim to encourage the entrepreneurial element at Hartlepool College and the students definitely now have a lot of food for thought!”

James concluded: “The main piece of advice I’d give to any catering students who are considering starting their own business is to keep practicing basic skills like making sauces and how to use a knife. Once you have all the key smaller skills, this will allow you to move to bigger things.

“Skills are essential and it’s our young people that need to be leading the way.”

On a Roll is currently recruiting full and part-time roles in production as well as managerial and graduate positions. You can find out more about the roles available on the On a Roll website (http://onarollsandwich.co.uk/careers/)

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