Why focus on skills?

Investment in skills of the workforce can make a significant contribution to increased productivity: as part of an effective wider business strategy, more highly skilled people produce more high value goods and services, more efficiently.

Research shows that, at a company level, overall productivity gains associated with training were roughly twice as large as the wage incentives to employees. There are also "spill-over" effects for the wider sector as knowledge is disseminated. One study estimates that the impact of training at an industry level has double the effect compared to company level productivity gains. By building a strong talent pipeline, productivity improvements in food and drink manufacturing will be delivered through a number of ways:

Innovative products
We need food scientists and technologists to power new product development (NPD) to meet changing consumer needs and tap into new markets.
New processes and machinery
We need food engineers to design, implement and maintain bespoke systems to support NPD, increase efficiency and boost margins.
We need to enhance management skills within the sector to allow firms to make better use of available resources, including existing workforce skills.
Attractiveness to investors
We need to secure availability of skills across the supply chain to boost UK attractiveness to inward investors and to retain existing investors.
Growing UK workforce
We need to enable food and drink employers to build their apprentice numbers with individuals who have a long-term commitment to the UK.