A report published this week has shown that almost half of employers in the food and drink industry are facing a workforce skills gap. 

The National Employers Skills Survey 2003 report by the Learning and Skills Council highlighted that 46% of food and drink industry employers report a lack of employee skills.

Paul Wilkinson, Chairman of Improve, the company bidding to become the Food and Drink Sector Skills Council is adamant that should the industry get behind the new organisation to share best practice to address the issue.

Wilkinson said: "The report makes uncomfortable reading for anyone involved in the food and drink industry.  It is crystal clear that one of the first things we need to do is address the skills gap that is currently blighting the industry.  The industry's answer has been to invest in more training, but this is only part of the solution and we will be developing a more strategic approach to tackle the underlying causes by improving standards of career development schemes and beginning to represent our industry as a challenging fast moving business in which individuals with different skills can prosper and advance."