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Push to increase food supply chain skills


Pressure groups operating in the retail sector are looking at ways in which they can reduce skills shortages in the food retail supply chain.

A report called Skills Action Plan for the Food Supply Chain (FSC), due to be published this month by food & drink skills council Improve, will investigate ways in which the knowledge and ability of retail supplier employees can be improved.

It follows its publication of The UK Food Supply Chain Report in May, which summarised the current role the FSC plays in the economy and highlighted the key drivers for change across the industry in the context of government policy on subjects such as food, skills, food security and environmental sustainability.

Skillsmart Retail, Lantra, People 1st and Skills for Logistics will work in collaboration with Improve, while there will also be input from Defra, the Food & Drink Federation, Institute of Grocery Distribution and National Farmers Union.

Anne Seaman, CEO for Skillsmart Retail, said: “The FSC is one of the most important and dynamic areas of the UK economy, employing 3.7 million people and producing a turnover of billions.

“To ensure the industry’s continual growth, and to maintain its world class status, all sectors must work together to address the skills gaps and shortages in the FSC.

“For a growing area, like food retail, it is vitally important to have managers with the skills, knowledge and ability to lead and drive the sector forward and we will be working with other sector skills councils, government and businesses to achieve this.”

Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Jim Paice commented: “Collaboration across the entire FSC is essential to this and this report represents an excellent example of how the sector skills councils and key partners can work together to collectively identify shared opportunities and challenges.”

Published on Friday 10 June by Editorial Assistant

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