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Food and drink manufacturers are invited to a conference at Reaseheath College in Nantwich, Cheshire, which will look at skills gaps that lead to increased downtime and a drop in productivity.

Shortfalls have been identified in the engineering skills needed to maintain plant and equipment.

Co-hosted by Reaseheath College, MCP Consulting and Training, the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink Manufacturing and the Centre of Food Robotics and Automation (Cenfra), the event takes place on Wednesday 18 November.

‘This conference is in response to a recent audit we carried out on the approach to training by 350 companies within the sector, focusing on plant maintenance and operation,’ said Richard Jones, managing director of MCP.

‘We discovered there is a real skills shortfall that is adversely affecting productivity and eventual profit.

‘The conference is a first step to rectify the problem by founding a forum to exchange ideas and identifying the specific training and skills required for various roles within food and drink manufacturing companies – all with the aim of increasing efficiency within the sector.

‘This is an opportunity for food and drink companies to influence and develop the national training agenda for maintenance and equipment operator skills in the sector,’ he added.

The Skills to Maximise Plant Efficiency event will look at formulating a common framework covering skills delivery for maintenance and equipment operating, as well as building profiles for roles such as technicians, team leaders and maintenance managers.

MCP Consulting and Training

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