Podcast: Labour shortages, automation, and upskilling in UK food and drink manufacturing

Centre for Employment Relations, Innovation and Change

Caroline Keohane and Tanya Barringer

Drs Gabriella Alberti and Jo Cutter are joined by Caroline Keohane and Tanya Barringer from the Food and Drink Federation to discuss how the workforce in the UK food and drink sector has been affected since the end of the free movement of labour from the EU, and other subsequent crises. 

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This episode has been recorded as part of the Labour Mobility in Transition (LIMITS) project, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). Visit the project webpage.  

You can read the manifesto discussed in the episode here, and the LIMITS project Employer Survey report here. 

This episode was recorded on 11 June 2024. If you would like to get in touch regarding this episode, please contact research.lubs@leeds.ac.uk. A transcript of this episode is available. 

About the speakers: 

Dr Gabriella Alberti is an Associate Professor in Work and Employment Relations. Her research interests revolve around the conditions of workers at the bottom end of the labour market, whether on non-standard contracts, engaged in gig/platform work, excluded from social protections, migrants and minorities workers facing multiple and intersectional forms of discrimination and exclusion. 

Dr Jo Cutter is a lecturer in Work and Employment Relations. Her research focuses on employment relations, social dialogue and the regulation of work with a core focus on skills formation and training. She is currently researching these themes in relation to two contexts: workers and the just transition and labour mobility

Caroline Keohane is Head of Industry Growth at the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) which is the voice of the UK’s largest manufacturing sector. Caroline leads FDF’s policy work on growth, productivity and investment and works closely with senior government officials within the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Department for Business and Trade (DBT). She is also a Non-Executive Board member of the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink. 

Tanya Barringer is a Senior Industry Growth Policy Executive at the Food and Drink Federation.  Her areas of focus include skills (apprenticeships and skill shortages), employment and migration, the uptake of automation and digitalisation and supply chain fairness. 

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