Friday, June 5, 2020

Food and drink industry fears SMEs are being left behind in supply chain reform

The National Skills Academy for Food and Drink has released a ‘State of the Nation’ report, looking at the health of the UK’s food and drink workforce and the impact of the Apprenticeship Levy on the food and supply chain.

Led by Justine Fosh, Group CEO of National Skills Academy for Food & Drink and assessment organisation Occupational Awards Limited, the report was commissioned to inform the work of the new Food & Drink Sector Council. It looks at the specific skills issues across the supply chain and examines the remaining challenges and barriers preventing more of the industry undertaking apprenticeships.

The report surveyed trade organisations and representative organisations from across the food and drink supply chain, including representatives from organisations such as National Farmers’ Union, Food and Drink Federation, British Hospitality Association, Lantra and Landex.

Although the report acknowledges that, broadly speaking, the Government’s reforms are ‘working well’ across the food supply chain, is critical that SMEs are being left behind in the system.

Justine Fosh, who prepared the report, said: “Overall, the new system has been broadly welcomed by the food and drink sector, however across the board the consensus is that non-levy paying companies are missing out on the opportunities.

“Government reforms have sought to put control of the system – including the means to pay for apprenticeships – in the hands of employers, however this is not the case for SMEs. SMEs do not pay the levy and so don’t have their ‘own’ funding pots, they are reliant on providers who have been successful in gaining special contracts to work with them. Not all of these providers have the specialist capability to deliver an apprenticeship to food businesses and so this mismatch can result in SMEs being unable to access the new standards.”

The NSAFD supports an employer driven quality initiative to recognise high quality food and drink providers as ‘Industry Approved’ which goes some way to providing the industry with a reassurance about capability.  Recent research identified that 96% of employers would prefer to work with these providers, as they understand that they have been through a rigorous approvals process demonstrating their credentials.

In response to the report, the NSAFD on behalf of the Skills Working Group are convening a specialist group to look at how provision can better serve the needs of the food supply chain.

Justine added: “We already know what great provision looks like as we have got examples of Industry Approved providers who are already operating with smaller businesses. Through the forum, however, we aim to develop some tangible and specific solutions to further improving the quality and availability of apprenticeships for all.

Further research into the skills requirements of the wider food chain is already underway by the group, championed by FDF. The research project brings together the view of the entire food chain, plus official Government data and business insights to create a research report which will provide a clearer understanding of the labour force across the whole food and drink supply chain and will support the groups work with Government on future workforce planning.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our news site - please take a moment to read this important message:

As you know, our aim is to bring you, the reader, an editorially led news site and magazine but journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them.

With the Covid-19 lockdown having a major impact on our industry as a whole, the advertising revenues we normally receive, which helps us cover the cost of our journalists and this website, have been drastically affected.

As such we need your help. If you can support our news sites/magazines with either a small donation of even £1, or a subscription to our magazine, which costs just £33.60 per year, (inc p&P and mailed direct to your door) your generosity will help us weather the storm and continue in our quest to deliver quality journalism.

As a subscriber, you will have unlimited access to our web site and magazine. You'll also be offered VIP invitations to our events, preferential rates to all our awards and get access to exclusive newsletters and content.

Just click here to subscribe and in the meantime may I wish you the very best.






Latest news

Streets focus on job and employment schemes in latest business update

Streets Chartered Accountants provide details of changes to Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme including the introduction of flexible furlough in its latest business support update. As...

New ownership for Market Harborough ventilation, maintenance & hygiene company

System Hygienics, formerly the service arm of the Hotchkiss group - the largest duct manufacturer and installer in the UK – have new ownership,...

Construction of Kirkby’s new Leisure Destination takes a step closer

Plans to bring a new state-of-the-art leisure centre to Kirkby in Ashfield have taken another step forward. Ashfield District Council is seeking tenders from contractors...

Seven Derby managed workspace buildings to reopen

Connect Derby, the managed workspace provider, is reopening its seven buildings and services to tenants on Monday (8 June). Connect Derby buildings were closed at...

New tax director for Midlands accountancy firm

Midlands firm, Edwards Accountants, has appointed a new tax director as it looks to expand and diversify its offering to clients across the UK. Steven...

Related news

3 business tips for saving money during Coronavirus

Coronavirus has changed every business in the world. Whether you’ve been made to work remotely, put your staff on furlough, or redirected your resources into...

Streets focus on job and employment schemes in latest business update

Streets Chartered Accountants provide details of changes to Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme including the introduction of flexible furlough in its latest business support update. As...

New ownership for Market Harborough ventilation, maintenance & hygiene company

System Hygienics, formerly the service arm of the Hotchkiss group - the largest duct manufacturer and installer in the UK – have new ownership,...

Construction of Kirkby’s new Leisure Destination takes a step closer

Plans to bring a new state-of-the-art leisure centre to Kirkby in Ashfield have taken another step forward. Ashfield District Council is seeking tenders from contractors...

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close