Food and drink manufacturers must improve the image of their industry if they are to attract new recruits, warns the Food and Drink Federation (FDF).
The industry faces a tough challenge to recruit 137,000 people within the next five years to replace those who will retire, Terry Jones, FDF communications director told FoodManufacture.co.uk.
Recent research from sector skills council Improve revealed that only 23% of young people would consider a career in food and drink manufacturing. That was evidence of the industry's need to use imaginative solutions to attract both apprentices and graduates, said Jones.
To reach out to recruits, the FDF launched its Taste Success campaign last year.
Earlier this year it launched a digital campaign, featuring video promotions, in order to tempt young people into food and drink manufacturing.
Building a skilled workforce was "fundamental to delivering the FDF's target of 20% growth by 2020", he said.
Jones was speaking after the HR Forum, staged by FoodManufacture.co.uk's sister title Food Manufacture, at the Foodex trade show in Birmingham on Monday March 26.
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