KP Snacks supports Government pledge to encourage more women into science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM)
As part of the Food and Drink Federation’s pledge in support of the ‘Your Life’ call to action (launched 7 May), KP Snacks aims to support a change in how women and girls are encouraged to consider technology and engineering careers and the subject choices or vocational pathways that lead to them.
We will be contributing to the national aspirations to double the number of women studying engineering and technology degrees at undergraduate level by 2030; boost the number of women pursuing careers in engineering and technology; and increase the number of young people studying maths and physics at 18.
Jess Templeton, Marketing Innovation Manager at KP Snacks, attended the launch of the ‘Your Life’ pledge. Jess took A Levels in maths, physics, product design and English literature. She was awarded an Arkwright Scholarship, which encourages students to pursue engineering or related areas of design at university and to take up careers in the field. She then subsequently achieved a Women Into Science and Engineering (WISE) award for ‘outstanding performance in science and commitment to personal development and career’.
Jess says: “This early exposure to industry encouraged me to pursue engineering. I studied Product Design & Manufacturing Engineering (BEng) at the University of Nottingham, with a work placement year at a packaging company. I chose a STEM career because it fused my passions for science and the arts. I like to think of it as problem solving with creativity. The real world applications are limitless and can provide solutions to our sustainable future as a growing population continues to put pressure on food and drink manufacturers. I graduated during the recession, so it was important to me that I chose an industry which is well established and fundamental to the economy. I now work as the crisps innovation manager for KP, on brands including McCoy’s and Phileas Fogg and my engineering skills have been highly transferrable.
“I think it’s important to encourage more women to pursue STEM careers as part of an overall initiative to ensure that the UK continues to produce world class talent and remains at the forefront of all technological advancements. As these are areas that women don’t traditionally consider as career choices, it is vital to provide information and support to attract talents that may otherwise slip through the net.”
Gail Adams, HR Director at KP Snacks, says: “As part of our responsible business programme, KP Snacks is working to raise the profile of the food and drink manufacturing industry as a career destination of choice. We have programmes across our business to help educate young people about the wide range of exciting careers available – particularly in the STEM areas, which are so vital to the manufacturing industry.
“For example, we have had long-standing links with Ashby School in Leicestershire, working with their sixth form pupils on food science projects and a Skills for Management conference each year. We support the Food and Drink Federation’s Graduate Excellence Project, which is working with Shefield Hallam University to launch the UK’s first ever MEng in Food Engineering. We regularly host educational visits, work experience and pre-employment training at our factories for local young people, and have worked with Women in Science, Engineering & Technology (WiSET) to host visits at our Rotherham KP Nuts factory for young women potentially interested in pursuing a career in our industry.
“It is vital that we ensure future generations are interested in STEM subjects so we can continue to employ the great talent that makes our industry the number one manufacturing industry in the UK.”
Further information about the campaign to encourage more women into studying STEM subjects and careers can be found at www.yourlife.org.uk (after 9am on Wednesday 7 May).
For more information about KP Snacks’ responsible business programme, please click here.