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Food and drink sector recruitment problems


In response to anecdotal evidence of local recruitment problems, the evaluation aimed to: assess the extent of recruitment and retention issues among Tayside food and drink manufacturers; determine the nature and extent of skill shortages and hard-to-fill vacancies; evaluate the impact of those skill shortages on business performance; identify the existence of market failure issues and assess the rationale for public sector intervention; examine potential sources of suitable labour in both local and overseas markets; consider the legal, institutional, cultural, financial and infrastructure implications of alternative recruitment and retention policies; and recommend cost-effective, integrated solutions to the recruitment and retention problems in the sector.


The methodology consisted of: an assessment of the labour market context, face-to-face consultations with Tayside food and drink businesses (13 companies); and a labour market analysis.


Suggests that the nature and extent of recruitment issues and solutions differ between businesses. Finds that there are possibilities of collaboration on staff recruitment issues for: businesses with differing seasonal patterns; businesses where the local labour market is exhausted; and manufacturers who wish to market job opportunities overseas. Businesses would welcome public sector intervention to facilitate the establishment of a local network group, which is likely to promote other collaborative ventures in Tayside food and drink businesses. Suggests that the potential outcomes associated with SE Tayside’s intervention based on the report’s recommendations would support Smart Successful Scotland, the Global Connections Strategy and the economic objective of reducing unemployment levels in Tayside.


Recommends that food and drink manufacturers in Tayside should establish a collaborative network with the aim of developing joint solutions to common recruitment problems. Advises that this forum / consortium should agree principles of membership and a communications strategy. Lists various recommendations about local, ‘2 hour’ and overseas recruitment strategies.

Author TERC
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Enterprise
    Sector-level support
  • Sectors
    Food and drink
  • Labour Market and Skills
    Skills Development