A fresh approach to skills

Posted on 13 Oct 2010 by The Manufacturer

A new steering group launched by the National Skills Academy is to give fresh produce employers a voice on skills.

The National Skills Academy for Food and Drink Manufacturing is to launch a new skills steering group for the UKs largest manufacturing sector. Food and drink employers specialising in fresh produce are being called to join the group to represent their particular skills needs.

Louise Codling, skills consultant for fresh produce at the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink Manufacturing, says the group will give employers a chance to highlight the priority areas for training and development they need to help their businesses flourish. “Fresh produce is an increasingly important network for the National Skills Academy and the steering group will be a way of getting employers together and giving them a voice.

“The aim is to provide an open forum for employers to look at skills, how they are currently met and how they can be improved. The aim is to create a working group which, with as wide a range of employers involved as possible. This will bring added benefit to the way training is provided in the sector.

“In order to provide the very best support we can to employers, we need to know the issues around skills requirements the sector is facing on a daily basis and what employers want from the National Skills Academy and training providers to meet those needs.”

The group will include representative from across the whole food and drink industry in order to balance the provision of skills so that the entire sector spectrum is developed appropriately “It is important that the group is a fair representation of the fresh produce world as a whole. We want it to be all inclusive from wholesale to manufacturing and processing. Large businesses to sole traders, everyone is welcome.”

The National Skills Academy for Food and Drink Manufacturing functions under the aegis of its parent organisation Improve, the Sector Skills Council (SSC) for the Food and Drink industry and the close involvement of employers in this initiative reflects the employer led approach to skills developments that these institutions have championed in recent years.

Codling is one of a team of specialist consultants recently created during the restructuring and realignment of the National Skills Academy as a whole and their associated SSCs. The consultant team are tasked with providing manufacturing employers with streamlined services for finding all their skills solutions

It is hoped the steering group’s first meeting can be held by the end of the year. To become part of the steering group or find out more information contact Louise at [email protected] or call 07827345110.