Thousands of low-skilled food manufacturing jobs are likely to go unfilled as the industry focuses on filling high-skilled jobs vacancies, the industry has warned.
There is a large demand for workers with basic skills in UK food manufacturing, despite the large number of graduates seeking jobs.
Although the sector faces a skills shortage, most people working in it have a basic education. Only 22% are educated to degree level or above; 41% to A-level or above; and 37% to GCSE level, according to statistics from the food and drink sector skills council Improve.
Have to work hard
By 2020 the industry will need to fill 170,300 positions as workers retire or leave the industry, Food and Drink Federation (FDF) director of employment and skills Angela Coleshill said. Yet the sector has struggled to be seen as a career of first choice “and it is certainly true that we still have to work hard to attract job seekers to take on low-level positions”, Coleshill added.
Figures from a recent Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development survey of adult skills showed the UK had the second largest demand (after Spain) for workers who had received only basic schooling.