Kia Stanton-Smith, Business Development Executive, National Skills Academy for Food & Drink

21 September 2023

Kia Stanton-Smith is a rare, much-valued, and much-loved individual whose dedication and commitment is trusted and admired by colleagues and customers alike.

Now Business Development Executive at the NSAFD, 26-year-old Kia had drifted into waitressing and bar jobs after school. But long days and late-night hours proved too much when she became a mum in her early twenties.


Desperate for the regular hours of an office-based admin role but lacking experience, Kia joined the NSAFD on the Government's paid work-experience Kickstart scheme - ironically, providing admin support for basic compliance training for nearly 200 fellow Kick-starters across UK food & drink manufacturing.

Not only did she ensure the training ran smoothly across almost 50 sector businesses, but Kia also undertook the online courses herself - learning about the sector and available career paths and successfully gaining accredited knowledge in Food Safety, HACCP, Health and Safety, and Allergen Awareness.

Kia's Kickstart success led to the NSAFD offering her a full-time flexible-working role as Business Development Executive - a job that makes the most of her versatility and can-do attitude.

Kia's contributions have since been integral to the successful piloting of the new Food & Drink Careers Passport and subsequent national launch and roll-out.

It's rare that a single individual can make such a large impact on the effectiveness and efficiency of an organisation so soon after joining.

But Kia really does have it all. She is dedicated, committed, meticulous and her winning personality has built amazing rapport with customers.

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