A graduate from Sheffield Hallam University has set up a mentoring scheme to give food and nutrition students a head start in the food industry.

Cameron Rigg, a product developer for Co-op and Hallam alumnus, launched the scheme in March 2020 in response to the global coronavirus pandemic.

Eighty students have now been paired with mentors thanks to the programme, recently relaunched as Flourish in Food, including students from Sheffield Hallam University.

The mentors provide tailored advice over an initial period of 6 months which can lead to lasting relationships, supporting mentees in reaching a specific career or personal goal.

Megan Wade, a final year food and nutrition student at Sheffield Hallam, said: “Through my mentoring we covered all sorts of topics from learning about the industry, guidance in career routes and how to get into the industry and everything in between.

“This opportunity has also led me to secure a job in a very well-respected retailer and I put it down to the mentoring I received because of this scheme.”

Cameron Rigg, founder of Flourish in Food said: “I wanted to give something back. Students were, and still are, heading into a difficult job market so any help I could provide was a real win.”

Applications for mentees open twice a year and are welcome from students aspiring to work in a wide rage of roles within the food industry, from agriculture to marketing.

Jenny Paxman, subject group leader for Food & Nutrition at Sheffield Hallam University, said: “Cameron’s efforts in bringing ‘Flourish in Food’ to food students all over the UK demonstrates his commitment to the sector and his passion for food student employability.

“‘Flourish in Food’ is a wonderful initiative that is already being valued by so many and we are thrilled to promote the excellent work being done here to all students on our food and nutrition courses.

“The food industry is the UK’s number 1 employer and throughout the pandemic it has continued to feed the nation.  It offers options for a range of excellent graduate careers and Cameron’s work is helping students to develop a competitive edge that will help them to succeed in the sector.”