New SWA President: ‘Let’s make wholesaling a viable career for our young people’

The Scottish Wholesale Association (SWA) has announced plans to ramp up training opportunities within the wholesale industry as part of a strategy to engage with young people and show them that wholesale is a viable career option.

Speaking at the Association’s Annual Conference in Crieff last weekend, Julie Dunn – operations director of family-owned wholesaler Dunns Food & Drink and the Association’s first-ever female President – pointed out that many wholesalers struggled to recruit young people locally; and confirmed that the association would, in the coming months, be working with the youth training agency Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) which aims to bridge the gap between industry and education.

“We need to show young people of all levels of educational attainment that wholesale is a viable destination and plays a vital role in keeping Scotland’s biggest industry – food and drink – on the move,” she said. “We all know that there is money available for training – the Scottish Government has already invested £120m into the DYW programme with another £120m pledged.

“There are also plenty of providers locally offering us funded employability placements for school leavers or apprenticeships,” she continued. “What we want to do for our members is to take away the pain and ensure that food and drink wholesaling is a nationally recognised industry with nationally recognised qualifications.”

Dunn confirmed that the SWA, working with skills development agencies, ‘will build a suite of apprenticeships’ addressing the four core areas of wholesale – selling, operations, logistics and administration.

Read an in-depth report on this story in the June issue of Wholesale News – out this week!

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