The Food and Drink Federation (FDF), in partnership with the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink (NSAFD), are calling on UK manufacturers to back a new Careers Passport to help tackle chronic labour shortages.

The Food and Drink Careers Passport, set to be introduced shortly in England and Wales, offers pre-entry accreditation to job hunters seeking entry-level roles.

According to the FDF, the scheme speeds up interview short-listing and job onboarding, saving time and money for firms.

The scheme seeks to make it easier for companies to find new recruits with Food Safety, HACCP, Health and Safety and Allergen Awareness accreditation, to provide a common industry standard and raise the profile of industry jobs.

A range of industry firms have already pledged support for the Passport including Premier Foods, Gressingham Foods, Glanbia Cheese, Greencore and Pukka Pies.

The Food & Drink Compliance Passport acts as a way for employers to identify entry-level job candidates with pre-interview compliance certification in:

  • Food Safety Level 2
  • HACCP Level 2
  • Health & Safety Level 2
  • Allergens Awareness

Accelerating recruitment

Louise Cairns, CEO of NSAFD said: “The new Passport is proof that holders will arrive at interview with core food manufacturing compliance certification. All Passport holders have made a readily-evident choice to seek a career in food and drink and have put the work in to prove it. They’re engaged and eager to start.”

Head of industry growth at the FDF Caroline Keohane said: “The food and drink industry has a long history of hiring a wide-ranging and diverse workforce at all skills levels and we need that to continue if we are to build a strong pipeline of home-grown talent and develop our next generation of engineers, food scientists, marketeers and leaders.

“With around 500,000 vacancies across our farm-to-fork supply chain, we must fill these places with potential, by matching talent to opportunity in all corners of the country. The Careers Passport is a practical, industry-led initiative to provide a means to accelerate recruitment in all communities – the next tool to levelling up the nation.”