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Strategy Needed to Tackle Skills Gap in Food Industry


Food and drink employers need an industry-wide strategy to tackle skills shortages, according to the sector's budding skills council.

Paul Wilkinson, Chairman of Improve, the company bidding to become the Food and Drink Sector Skills Council, was responding to the National Employers Skills Survey 2003 report by the Learning and Skills Council.

The study found that 46% of food and drink industry employers reported a lack of employee skills.

Mr Wilkinson said the results made "uncomfortable reading".

“It is crystal clear that one of the first things we need to do is address the skills gap that is currently blighting the industry.," he said.

"The industry’s answer has been to invest in more training, but this is only part of the solution and we will be developing a more strategic approach to tackle the underlying causes by improving standards of career development schemes and beginning to represent our industry as a challenging fast moving business in which individuals with different skills can prosper and advance.”

Improve will be submitting its bid for SSDA accreditation at the end of February, with the intention of being fully operational by June 2004.

* Related story:
Employers Complain of Skills Gap


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