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FDSC Workforce and Skills Core Group

The Food and Drink Sector Council has seven priorities, one of which is Workforce and Skills. Led by Dame Fiona Kendrick, the Workforce and Skills Core Group is a forum for both senior industry and government representatives to come together – working across the UK food supply chain – to secure a world-class workforce of the future. The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) is the nominated anchor organisation supporting this workstream.

Vision and Objectives

FDSC Workforce & Skills Core Group Vision:

Secure an energetic, ambitious and world-class workforce capable of upholding the UK Food and Drink Industry's position as world leading producers of safe, innovative, quality, affordable and sustainably produced food and drink

  1. Develop a long-term action plan to deliver a secure supply of highly motivated labour, at all skill levels, to help driving productivity gains
  2. Provide high-level food chain leadership to influence government policy direction
  3. Provide a coherent voice from the food and drink supply chain to help design Government skills policy
  4. Secure government support to implement key priorities within the plan

Core Group Members

Name Company
Fiona Kendrick Chair
Tess Howe Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board (AHDB)
Ian Mace Associated British Foods (ABF)
Tamara Hill British Retail Consortium
Sharon Blyfield Coca-Cola European Partners
Stephen Darke Department for Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS)
Jonathan Back Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)
Claire Whittaker Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)
Philip Oxley Department for Education (DfE)
Caroline Keohane Food and Drink Federation (FDF)
Tanya Barringer Food and Drink Federation (FDF)
Andy Richardson Food and Drink Wales Industry Board
Paul Wheeler Kellogg's
Helen Watts McCain Foods
Andrea Graham National Farmers Union
Justine Fosh National Skills Academy for Food and Drink
David Wilkinson Premier Foods
Angela Coleshill Provision Trade Federation
Stuart Comer Sainsbury's
David Sheen UK Hospitality
Emma Weston University of Nottingham
Andy Ricardson Volac

Focus of the Workforce & Skills Core Group

The chart below illustrates the key priorities for the Workforce and Skills Core Group.

Key Milestones

Phase 1: Build an evidence base to test hypothesis on future workforce and skills needs of the UK food supply chain (June – October 2018)

  • Review official data and research
  • Undertake interviews and / or survey to provide industry insights across the food supply chain

Phase 2: Analysis and Scenario Planning (October - December 2018)

  • Scenario planning of future workforce and skills models, taking into consideration the impact of Brexit and any other major impactors e.g. technology disruption, digitalisation

Phase 3: Implications and Action Plan (January – March 2019)

  • Produce a high level strategic workforce plan to identify the skill deficit and possible solutions over a 5-10 year horizon
  • Agree actions already in play, identify what more needs to be done, prioritise key actions/asks for Government departments

Workforce and Skills Consultative Group

The Consultative Group will act as an advisory group to the Core Group and will meet quarterly.

Name Company
Teresa Frith Association of Colleges
Mark Dawe Association of Employment and Learning Providers
John Myers Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA)
Chinara Rustamova Federation of Small Businesses (FSB)
James Hookham Freight Transport Association
Jonathan Mitchell Institute for Apprenticeships
Jon Poole Institute for Food Science and Technology (IFST)
Allan Edwards Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD)
Simon Tarr People 1st
Diana Holland Unite
Val Braybrooks University of Lincoln / Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)

For more information about this work, please contact: