Companies in the grocery trade risk missing out on the best young talent because careers advisors are not aware of the opportunities in the sector.

That is the key finding of a survey of leading employers carried out by the IGD. Eighty-seven percent of senior HR staff in the grocery trade polled said careers advisors did not have an adequate grasp of the sector’s needs – or its potential rewards.

“Our industry provides one in seven of all jobs in the UK and there’s huge potential for that to grow,” said IGD chief executive Joanne Denney-Finch.

“Not only is it important that we continue to train and develop those currently working in the industry, but we also need to enthuse and excite the next generation about working in food and retailing.

“Wherever you start, you have the opportunity to rise to the top. Careers advisers need to appreciate that and we in the industry need to help them understand the range of opportunities for young people to embark on fantastic careers.”

The poll coincided with the IGD’s latest annual Skills & Employability Summit.