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. 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? Our experts will offer advice.
People, Communications and Sustainability Director
Solution Consulting Director, Food and Beverage
Group Manufacturing Excellence and Engineering Director
HR director – operations