Almost two-thirds of manufacturers said demand for employees with people management skills had risen over the past two years, because there is a constant need for improved production, EEF research found.
A similar number of manufacturers said they were looking for increased leadership skills, according to the research. Companies working on skills development reported a significant impact in increasing company productivity, the organisation said.
An EEF spokesman told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “With the increasing demand for skills in food manufacturing, and the significant leadership gap impacting on productivity for many businesses, it’s crucial for companies to recruit, retain and develop the right skills.”
The increased use of digital technology will give manufacturers and their current leaders significant challenges, said EEF chief operating officer Caroline Gumble.
To meet these challenges, companies need to make leadership development an embedded part of their business,” said Gumble.
“By using bespoke and tailored consultancy and expertise, manufacturers can reap substantial benefits from increased productivity and employee-focused culture change.”
To help companies find and develop future leaders, the organisation has launched a training programme aimed at retaining and recruiting talent. The ‘Make Great’ programme – launched on October 19 – aimed at encouraging manufacturers to develop the right skills in its future leaders, to address the digital revolution ahead, EEF said.
The programme would focus on four key areas: retaining and recruiting talent, coaching and mentoring, people performance and skills management and strategic change management and restructuring.
Meanwhile, 2 Sisters Food Group gave 350 learning opportunities to young, unemployed people over the past month, as part of its Skills for Work Month. The opportunities ranged from work experience to CV improvement workshops and factory tours.
Similarly, chilled foods manufacturer Bakkavor hosted a baking masterclass last month, to teach six young people how to bake the perfect cake.
EEF ‘Make Great’ programme aims – at a glance
- Retaining and recruiting talent
- Coaching and mentoring
- People performance and skills management
- Strategic change management and restructuring