Blog: How to plug the food industry skills drain?

Catherine Sleep | 29 June 2006

Food and drink manufacturers find it notoriously difficult to retain staff long-term. Many employees disappear within the first year, costing the industry thousands of pounds in loss of expertise, additional training, loss of business relationships and simple human error.

The problem is hardly unique to the food and drink sector. I once worked in a blue-chip software company where high salaries and generous packages were not enough to keep morale high at all levels across the organisation.

Tony Dumbrek, a food manufacturer and loyal just-food reader, believes the answer lies in ongoing, appropriate training. Not only does this prove to employees that their bosses believe it is worth investing in their abilities; it also gives them something to aim for and a sense of control over their career progression within the company.

I couldn’t agree more. Paying your staff a reasonable wage should be a given, but if you want to keep your people motivated, or, to be frank, keep them at all, providing them with ongoing training and career development opportunities is absolutely crucial.

By the way, if my bosses are reading this... don't take this to mean I'll be turning down any future payrises. As if!

Training the key to staff retention


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