Workforce and Skills Group

The Food and Drink Sector Council has six current priorities, one of which is Workforce and Skills. Led by Ian Mace (Head of Government Affairs and Policy, Associated British Foods), the Workforce and Skills Group is a forum for senior industry and government representatives to come together – working across the UK food supply chain – to secure a world-class workforce of the future. The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) is the nominated anchor organisation supporting this workstream.

The Workforce and Skills Group currently functions through three distinct forums:

  • Workforce and Skills Core Group
  • Workforce and Skills Core Group
  • Workforce and Skills Consultative Group
  • Food Strategy Skills Task & Finish Group

Meeting Dates:

Please note that until further notice, all our meetings will be held in a virtual capacity due to COVID-19.

Core Group:

Q2 TBC TBC

Q3 TBC TBC

Q4 TBC TBC

Consultative Group:

March/April 2021 TBC Virtual
September/October 2021 TBC

Food Strategy Skills Task & Finish Group

24 February 2021 14:00-15:00 Virtual
March 2021 – TBC TBC

April 2021 – TBC TBC

Vision and Objectives:

FDSC Workforce and Skills Core Group Vision:

To secure an energetic, ambitious and world-class workforce capable of upholding the UK Food and Drink Industry's position as world leading producers of safe, innovative, quality, affordable and sustainably produced food and drink

  1. Develop a long-term action plan to deliver a secure supply of highly motivated labour, at all skill levels, to help driving productivity gains
  2. Provide high-level food chain leadership to influence government policy direction
  3. Provide a coherent voice from the food and drink supply chain to help design Government skills policy
  4. Secure government support to implement key priorities within the plan

Members of the WSG Core Group:

Name Company
Ian Mace Associated British Foods – Chair
Tess Howe Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board
Tamara Hill British Retail Consortium
Sharon Blyfield Coca-Cola European Partners
Ian Smith Department for Work and Pensions
Dena Read Education and Skills Funding Agency
Stuart Comer J Sainsbury Plc
Tom Price National Farmers' Union
Louise Cairns National Skills Academy for Food and Drink
Jill Coyle Nestlé
Angela Coleshill Provision Trade Federation
David Sheen UKHospitality
Sophie Throup WM Morrison Supermarkets
Emma Weston University of Nottingham

Members of the WSG Consultative Group:

The Consultative Group acts as an advisory group to the Core Group and will meet semi- annually.

Name Company
Ian Mace Associated British Foods – Chair
Teresa Frith Association of Colleges
Mark Dawe Association of Employment and Learning Providers
Martyn Johnson Engineering Construction Industry Training Board
Chinara Rustamova Federation of Small Businesses
Fiona Miller IGD
Diane Wilford Institute for Apprenticeships
Jon Poole Institute for Food Science and Technology (IFST)
Sandra Kelly People 1st
Gerry McBride Skills Development Scotland
Aimee Higgins The Careers and Enterprise Company
Diana Holland Unite
Val Braybrooks University of Lincoln

Members of the WSG Food Strategy Skills Task & Finish Group:

The members of the Food Strategy Skills Task and Finish Group volunteered to support the development of skills policies to feed into the Food Strategy Industry Report, work that is being led by the Food Strategy Working Group.

Name Company
Ian Mace Associated British Food – Chair
Tess Howe Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board
Tamara Hill British Retail Consortium
Tom Price National Farmers' Union
Louise Cairns National Skills Academy for Food and Drink
Sue Perkins Remit
Ruth Jennings Sainsbury's
Angela Coleshill Provision Trade Federation
David Sheen UKHospitality
Emma Weston University of Nottingham

Meeting Documents Archive:

2021
WSG Core Group 15 February 2021 Agenda
Food Strategy T&F Group 24 February 2021

2020
Food Strategy T&F Group 11 November 2020 Agenda
WSG Consultative Group 8 October 2020 Agenda
WSG Core Group 29 September 2020 Agenda / Minutes
Food Strategy T&F Group 10 September 2020 Agenda
WSG Core Group 23 July 2020 Agenda / Minutes
WSG Core Group 18 June 2020 Agenda / Minutes
WSG Core Group 26 March 2020 Agenda / Minutes