There is a major concern regarding the shortfall of skilled candidates in UK’s food and drink industry, due to which the industry is lagging behind as compared to their other international rivals across the globe.
Food and Drink is one of the largest manufacturing sectors in the U.K which is employing more than 500,000 people, and has a significant contribution to the economy.
The threat to food and drink manufacturing industry in U.K is mainly caused due to shortage of talented candidates as per the details provided by a JAM Recruitment, a recruitment consultancy of UK.
Out of the opinions of more than 750 food and drink manufacturing professionals, 46% of respondents say that their company is facing difficulties in finding candidates with high-level skills, with shift managers and product development specialists which is required in food and drink industry. The respondents also quoted that there might be a great risk to the young people without the essential skills in the next 10 years in this industry. 64% of the respondents say that the industry itself is responsible for not providing information on the career opportunities, given which the talented fresh candidates can apply for the suitable job.
Even the salary paid to the professionals is not been provided according to their abilities, which is also one of the reasons for shortage of skilled candidates, according to 65% of the respondents. Professionals earn a salary of less than £20,000 and none of the respondents take home salary was more than £70,000 as per the survey.
In U.K, to handle the shortage of talented candidates, the government should provide enough funds for training in manufacturing subjects and also provide graduate programs to the candidates of food and drinks industry. This will help companies in finding more skilled candidates for this industry, and an option for hiring as apprentices would also increase, according to two-thirds of respondents.
The acquisitions of British food and drink manufacturers such as take-over of Cadbury by US-based Kraft Foods last year(2nd Feb 2010), is the main cause for the respondents to be concerned about UK’s performance against their global competitors. Even the employers of the companies must provide awareness on the increased opportunities among young people and also offer them with competitive income as quoted by Samantha Tildsley, principal account manager at JAM Recruitment.