Blog: Food & Drink Industry Thriving
By Tracie Norton, E3R Director, Food & Drink
E3R Partner Make UK has reported that the food & drink sector is defying the uncertain political and economic climate. The sector overall in the UK is worth 15.9 per cent of total manufacturing Gross Value Added (GVA) with sales in 2018 of £85.6bn, the report showed. This represents a sharp increase of 7.6 per cent in just two years from 2016. It is the biggest industry sector in Yorkshire – at 19.7 per cent food and drink is almost a fifth of the local economy. The sector is now a major employer across the UK with some 440,000 employees, up 5.3 per cent since 2016 and now at the highest level for 15 years.
Therefore the importance of closing the skills gap within manufacturing, by promoting to the future generations, the opportunities and careers that are open to them is more important than ever.
As a recruitment partner to the food & drink sector, this continues to be a key focus for E3R. Last year we were a sponsor of Bradford Manufacturing Week and delivered a number of assemblies to young people promoting manufacturing we will build on this again in 2020. In March we will exhibit at Get up to Speed with STEM for the third year, bringing together manufacturing and engineering companies to showcase the work they do, the careers they can offer, and promote STEM subjects. And by continuing our partnerships with local schools and colleges where we support mock interviews, business breakfasts and careers conventions driving awareness of apprenticeships and opportunities is fundamental.
In order to keep this momentum, it’s important the food & drink sector supports key initiatives to ensure we have skilled people joining our sector now and in the future to drive its growth.