Deliver skills for the future of our industry
As an industry, we recognise that in order to successfully
drive growth in future years, we need to have the right people
with the right skills.
"This is a long-term aspiration that requires long
term thinking and a long term commitment."
A lot of work is being done to promote the industry as a
career destination in schools, colleges and universities.
For example we have produced a series of films that feature
those that work in the industry and the wide variety of careers
on offer. We also contribute to a number of careers' fairs and
other events. Our innovative schools programme 'A Future in
Food' is also working directly with school pupils.
Raise awareness of industry to our young people.
The Scottish Government has already provided support for
our innovative schools programme 'A Future in Food'
which brokers partnerships between local manufacturers
and primary and secondary schools. This uses the
industry as a tool to teach young people key skills whilst
also encouraging them to think of the industry as a career
destination. We are calling for continued support for this
Skills ambassador network.
Manufacturing as an industry suffers from a negative
perception about the jobs on offer within the industry.
"Many of the people that work in the sector are
passionate, enthusiastic and are experts in their field.
We want to harness these sentiments to teach others
about the importance of the industry to Scotland."
We believe that, with support from Government, a skills
ambassador network could make a significant difference.
'Open door days'
We are calling for support to hold a
national 'Open Doors'event which would engage
manufacturers with their communities who could see for
themselves the range of opportunities available –
from food scientist to nutritionist.
Investment in core and specialist skills.
The industry has
both skill shortages and skill gaps. A skill shortage is where
employers find it difficult to recruit anyone with expertise in for
example food science, engineering and marketing. A skills
gap is where staff lack the necessary skills to do their job.
Skills gaps most frequently occur in areas like problem solving
and oral communication. We need to work harder with
Improve, our Sector Skills Council and Government to try and
plug these gaps.
Improve the employability of our young people
The industry also believes that a number of other key
changes would improve the employability of young
people. These include:
Better informed careers advisers that have knowledge
of the industry and are able to accurately advise on the
many opportunities within the industry.
- Better information for school leavers on the training
and employment opportunities available.
- Future funding for skills and apprenticeships must be
demand led and support priority industries such as
food and drink. Employers must have a greater say
as to the courses on offer, ensuring a greater match
between the skills prospective employees want and
the skills that employers need.
Investment in staff training
81 per cent of the food
manufacturing and processing industry invests in training.
Vital support from Skills Development Scotland allows
industry to invest in skills for the long term.
"We want to see initiatives like these protected – invest
in people now so they can use those skills and training
to be profitable to the country in the future".
More on the job training, delivered in a flexible way would
also be of benefit to the economy. The industry also believes
that apprentice schemes should not be limited to school
leavers in order to assist adult learners looking to retrain.
Download PDF: Manifesto: Supporting our Industry. Supporting growth. Supporting Scotland.