Food and drink factory managers have faced a growing skills shortage for years, with an ageing workforce and tight supply of younger skilled workers. Now the situation is at crisis levels.
Over-reliance on migrant workers has been hit by immigration policy limiting the pool of EU recruits who can get UK visas. Staff have had to stay at home and self-isolate during the pandemic, including some essential to continued plant operations.
Lack of lorry drivers
The situation has been compounded by a continued lack of trained lorry drivers to distribute food and drink to trade customers.
Political action might offer long-term relief. Increased use of robotics is one answer, but many processors have already installed obvious equipment or struggle with budgets to invest. Complex robotic solutions also demand further skills and take time to integrate, test and bed in.
Operations managers must still meet increasing customer demand daily, so what can they do immediately to practically address the challenge and deliver targets? Four experts will offer vital advice in this free 60-minute webinar. The event is being held on Thursday 9 September from 3pm to 4pm UK time and will incorporate a live Q&A session. Register for free now.
Andrew Brodie, Avara Foods
Speakers will include Andrew Brodie, people and communications director at poultry supplier Avara Foods, one of the leading UK suppliers of poultry to major retailers and foodservice chains. The company employs more than 7,000 people across the UK in an end-to-end operation from farm to the supermarket shelf. Brodie will present Avara Foods' perspective on the skills crisis.
Brodie has held his current position since Avara came together as a joint venture between Faccenda and Cargill in 2018 having previously held the position at Faccenda following spells with Cargill, Unilever and Danone.
Phil Barnfather and Carl Schubert, Greencore
Phil Barnfather, HR director - operations, Greencore will partner with Carl Schubert, group manufacturing excellence and engineering director, Greencore in a live interview tackling tough issues. All panellists will then be available for a live Q&A from registrants.
Working for Greencore for almost five years, Schubert joined the company as head of business improvement and boasts a total of more than 20 years’ experience in engineering, maintenance and continuous improvement roles for companies including Unilever, Reckitt Benckiser, and Coca-Cola in Europe. He will partner with Barnfather to offer considerable insights on efficiency and productivity improvements.
Jack Payne, Aptean
Completing the quartet of presenters is Jack Payne, vice president, product management and solutions consulting at Aptean. Payne has spent more than 30 years in the food manufacturing industry, helping companies tackle their biggest industry challenges. His experience has led him to become a well-respected industry resource for best practices and technology innovation.
Register now to hear how experts in the industry are coping with the skills and labour shortages confronting them.