Free seminar takes on yawning skills gap and labour shortages

Related tags Food manufacturing sector Industry

Britain's food manufacturing sector is facing a potential skills crisis, with an ageing workforce and an image problem that is putting young people off choosing food and drink as a career.

According to Improve, the sector skills council for food and drink manufacture, around 137,000 new recruits will be needed to replace those that will be retiring over the next five years. And, with increasing competition from overseas suppliers, workers within the sector will need to be far more highly trained than in the past to stay ahead of the game.

In addition to shortages of food scientists, the industry is already reporting problems attracting qualified engineers a problem that is likely to become even more acute as automation becomes more widely adopted.

To examine these issues and highlight various new initiatives being launched to address these problems, Food Manufacture, in conjunction with the Institute of Food Science & Technology, is organising a free morning seminar at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham on Monday March 26, targeted at HR directors and managers.

The event, which takes place alongside Food and Drink Expo and Foodex shows will include presentations from the Food and Drink Federation on what is being done to raise the industry's image; the National Skills Academy on new training schemes; the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, talking about the latest manufacturing apprenticeship schemes; and the IFST on a new transferable skills initiative. There will also be presentations from leading manufacturers and young apprentices, who will give a view from the shopfloor.

Skills for a changing world of work, takes place from 9.30 until 13.20, on March 26, followed by a buffet lunch. For more information and to secure your place at this free event, contact Rachael Cannon on 01293 610433 or email her on

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