The Government’s Industrial Strategy White Paper ‘Building a Britain fit for the future’ announced the establishment of a Food and Drink Sector Council which spans the entire food chain from farm to fork. The Food and Drink Sector Council met for the first time in January 2018, and three out of seven work-streams were prioritised with Workforce and Skills, led by Nestlé Chairman Dame Fiona Kendrick, coming through as the top priority.

As a member of the Sector Council, and the industry lead on the Workforce and Skills workstream, Dame Fiona Kendrick has set up a working group. This is intended to provide high-level industry leadership to influence government skills policy direction and ensure a coherent voice for the food and drink supply chain to government. This provides a unique and vital opportunity for our sector to raise the profile of the skills gap and talent shortages that remain an outstanding issue across the supply chain. 

To support this work and improve understanding of the labour market in the food and drink sector, we are collecting evidence on workforce and skills. This involves collating and analysing official Government data, business insights from this survey, and qualitative data from a set of face-to-face interviews conducted in collaboration with Sheffield Hallam University. Our ultimate aim is to create a research report which will:

  • provide a clearer understanding of the labour force across the whole food and drink supply chain at present, as well as trends in the recent past;
  • provide business insights into reasons behind this data; and
  • deliver a high-level indication of future workforce trends in the food and drink supply chain going forward.
All responses will remain strictly anonymous. The survey is predominantly composed of short multiple choice questions, and should take no longer than 20 minutes to complete.

If you work for a multinational business, we are keen to know views from a UK perspective specifically (one response per company, rather than per site).