HR seminar to bear fruitful harvest
Harry Hamilton (l), project facilitator of ‘Harvesting Tomorrow’s Skills’ puts his baking skills to the test to raise awareness of the potential resource issue facing the agri-food sector. Joining him are Tina McKenzie, CEO of Grafton Recruitment and Jordan Buchanan, Economic Policy Centre, Ulster University who will take part in a seminar on 17 October which will highlight ways of attracting new talent to the sector
With the number of job vacancies across NI’s food and drink industry estimated to total 800 by the end of the year – and the sector’s growth outpacing the number of applications – the industry faces a potential resource issue which could hamper its future growth.
To address the problem the ‘Harvesting Tomorrow’s Skills’ (HTS) network is offering the industry’s HR directors and senior business leaders the chance to participate in a seminar which will challenge perceptions and highlight ways to attract new talent to the sector.
Taking place on Wed 17 October in the Lough Neagh Discovery Centre, Craigavon, the half-day ‘PR of HR’ event is open to all those involved in the recruitment, training and management of talent for local food and drink businesses.
Delivered in partnership with Grafton Recruitment, the seminar has been organised in response to the key issues impacting on the sector. These include the changing labour market, growing staff opportunities, skills deficit and the overall appeal of the industry to young people and jobseekers.
“A well-trained skills pipeline is critical to the future success of all businesses, and none more so than those representing NI’s food and drink sector,” commented Harry Hamilton, project facilitator of HTS.
“To ensure a strong talent pool we must dispel the myths and promote the benefits of the sector and the positive career opportunities it presents. This starts at school-age and extends to those already working in the sector who can be upskilled and retrained, adding more value through career progression.”
The bespoke event will bring together a range of private and public sector experts from HR and marketing who will offer the very latest advice and insights into staff recruitment and retention. Speakers include Andy Jarvis, Eximo Marketing, Jordan Buchanan, Economist, Ulster University and Sharron Russell Director for Work & Wellbeing in the Department for Communities.
Tina McKenzie CEO of Grafton Recruitment added: “The local labour market has changed dramatically, and the pace of change is accelerating.
“The opportunities for a rewarding career in food and drink are many but ‘selling’ the sector and all it has to offer candidates must be the focus going forward. By playing to our strengths and harnessing the wealth of talent available on our doorstep, we can help the food and drink sector meet its full potential.”