Reasons for the Labour Supply Shortage

The last few months have seen a labour supply shortage that is having a significant impact in general and on the food and drinks sector in particular. The shortage has been gradually escalating for a few years, with summer 2021 seeing it come into full effect as a result of the UK’s new immigration policy.

The Association of Labour Providers has referred to the situation as “tipping into crisis” and its effects are being felt across the food industry, causing reductions in output, exports and distribution. As a result, the British public is noticing shortages of particular food products and empty shelves in supermarkets across the nation.

There is also growing concern over food waste, food inflation and a reduction in animal welfare, which are risks imposed by this lack of low skilled and manual workers. However, there are multiple ways for your business to get through this difficult period, which we’ve outlined below.


Actions required

The ALP recently released a new policy paper called ‘Addressing UK Food Industry Labour Shortages’. Some of its main points are as follows:

  • The Government must prioritise the adoption of a “radically new, coherent and comprehensive national strategy” that will enable future access to labour
  • Relevant government departments need to work closely with the food industry, creating a collaborative system that removes limitations to skills and labour
  • Companies across the food industry should work collaboratively to address the causes of the labour shortage and rectify as many as possible
  • Individual businesses within the food sector must take ownership over their recruitment, working environments and retention strategies as a means of attracting and retaining workers


Prestige Recruitment can help

We understand that this is a difficult and stressful time for businesses within the food industry. The key takeaway is that every employer must adopt a proactive approach, as this will minimise the effects of the UK labour shortage and allow your company to maintain top levels of productivity, quality and service delivery.

Our recruitment specialists are always available to discuss your requirements and develop a tailored strategy for recruiting new workers. From pickers/packers and warehouse operatives to maintenance engineers, stock controllers, HGV drivers and factory managers, we’ll ensure that you stay on top of demand through powerful recruitment campaigns.

Prestige Recruitment can also support the development of your working policies and help you to maintain best practice even during the most turbulent times. This can include offering guidance on how to create and amend contracts, adopt a hybrid working policy where suitable, remain compliant in line with new regulations, and put in place a system that protects employee welfare.


Get in touch

If your business operates within the food industry and you’re looking for a responsible and effective recruitment partner, get in touch with our specialists today. For practical advice and invaluable support, please call your closest branch or use our contact form.


Posted: Fri 13 Aug 2021
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