Why you should be Feeding your Workforce Skills

29 June 2023

Do you struggle to find enough time to focus on your people?

Feeding Workforce Skills is here to make it easier.

People and skills are one of the most important issues for the food and drink sector and here you can find the support available for employers like you to recruit, retain and develop your workforce.


Created by the Scotland Food & Drink Partnership, Feeding Workforce Skills brings together all the key relevant information from different sources onto one simple platform. And it costs nothing to access.

Investing time in your people is investing in your greatest asset. They are ambassadors, innovators, coaches and cheerleaders and it’s your people that will help your business survive and thrive.

So take positive proactive action and start on your journey now, with the help of Feeding Workforce Skills – because good employers attract good people.

Harness the potential

The web resource is divided into four sections: recruitment, retention, upskilling and keeping skills up to date.

1 – Recruit: to help you attract the right skills, people and talent into your business.

From writing job roles or how to advertise vacancies, right through to how to select and assess candidates, this section offers interview tips, templates for job descriptions and applications as well as factsheets on selection and assessment. You can also find checklists on recruiting, diversity and having a great place to work.

Featured businesses like Mossgiel Farm discuss their approach to effective promotion, and Clootie McToot talks about how recruiting a diverse workforce has worked for them.

2 – Retain: how to hang on to the talent within your team, by acting as a good employer and engaging with your workforce and the wider community.

Engaged and motivated team members enjoy their jobs, do them well and look forward to turning up every day. In turn, this drives productivity, better products or services, and innovation.

Workplace culture is key, as is engaging with your employees. In this section, you can find factsheets on employer turnover and retention, as well as guides on how to introduce more flexible working and a Fair Work employer support tool.

North Uist Distillery explains how the strength of their mission statement is driving success  and Castleton Farm describes their experience of engaging with employees with their “Castleton Code”.

3 – Upskill: inject skills into your workforce and future-proof your business by accessing training and funding.

Are you using the full talent potential of your existing workforce? Tap into the 12 tips here and hear how Reids of Caithness have used Modern Apprenticeships as an internal development and training tool.

Also online are signposts to funding that provides an opportunity to upskill your team, and Find Business Support - a guide to Scotland’s public sector grants, funding, advice, help and events.

4 - Keep skills up to date: making sure your team has the right skills it needs to operate, with regular workforce planning.

We all know that lurch of anxiety when someone unexpectedly hands in their notice. A bit of workforce planning means you shouldn’t be rushing around trying to fix the situation with makeshift solutions.

Workforce planning shows you where the gaps might be in the team, it plots individual journey of development and promotion and it introduces an inclusive approach that helps you hang on to that precious workforce.

Here you can find a range of factsheets, including on workforce planning and identifying learning and development needs from the CIPD - the professional body for HR and people development. And third-generation family business Macsween describes how it became more productive and resilient after taking time to review its operations and culture.

Also available online on the Feeding Workforce Skills platform:

  • the Scotland Food & Drink Partnership’s comprehensive and easy-to-use Recruitment & Retention Toolkit
  • information on apprenticeships
  • why you should sign up to the Young Person’s Guarantee
  • a guide to Fair Work
  • the benefits of having STEM Ambassadors

So click through to the website, bookmark it in your favourites and start Feeding your Workforce Skills now.