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Food giant Nestle, which has a factory in York, is to create 1,600 jobs across the UK for young people over the next three years, and hundreds of paid work experience placements.
The jobs will range from sales assistants to business management as well as working on the shop floor.
Chief executive Fiona Kendrick said: "Sadly, young people are stuck in a catch-22 situation - they can't get a job without experience, but can't get experience without a job.
"As employers we value young people with experience, so we have to provide them with enough opportunities to gain it."
Nestle said it will offer 300 paid work experience placements in its factories, offices and sales teams as well as helping social enterprise group MyKindaCrowd to give skills and training to more than 12,000 school and college students.
The placements will be for four weeks.
Skills minister Matthew Hancock said: "The food and drink industry is facing a
pressing skills gap and it is critical that businesses take action to engage and
attract young people into the sector.
"I welcome all businesses who offer high-quality work experience, which is
vital for youngsters and firms to bridge the gap between school, college and
work and help build a talent pipeline for the future.
"It is encouraging that Nestle, as a large UK employer, are helping to open up opportunities for young people across their business."