European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions
Together for decent work and fair pay from farm to fork

New talents and an ageing workforce: two sides of the same coin

08/06/2015
 
Food and Drink employers and unions gather in Stockholm to discuss the attractiveness of their industry as a crucial step towards asuccessful EU economy
 
Stockholm, 4-5 June 2015 - EFFAT and FoodDrinkEurope met in Stockholm to debate some of the obstacles to job creation in the sector, including how to attract new talents, managing an ageing workforce and the participation of untapped groups in the labour pool.
 
Against the backdrop of the EU-funded project ‘Bringing in new talent and managing an ageing workforce: two sides of the same coin – implementing good practices for a more attractive food and drink sector’, the consultation highlighted the Swedish labour model as internationally renowned for its large numbers of union representatives and collective agreement coverage, few conflicts, and high female labour participation rates.
 
Best practices between independent social partners and the government were at the heart of Swedish Labour Ministry Secretary Irene Wennemo's speech, in which she also detailed the distinctive traits of her country’s education and pension scheme.
 
Presenting successful Swedish joint initiatives and good practices to recruit new talents, Anna Nordin from the Swedish Food Federation said that the ‘Swedish industry has a new model for part-time retirement available to employees from the age of 60. The purpose is to offer them an opportunity to prolong their work life while earning a pension. It also facilitates the transfer of knowledge from the more experienced workforce to young employees’.
 
Solweig Larsson, from the Swedish Food Workers Union and member of EFFAT, pointed out that ‘it is important to recruit young people with technical knowledge to the food industry. By mapping the skills required in this industry and creating an assessment method, untapped groups have additional chances of finding work.'
 
Employers and unions debated constructively on how to engage new talents and manage an ageing workforce in the European Food&Drink sector.
 
The project's outcomes are a report and a toolbox of options for companies, trade unions and workers’ representatives in the food and drink industry, built upon examples of good practices in Member States and coming with a set of recommendations.
 
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EFFAT is the European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions. As a European Trade Union Federation representing 120 national trade unions from 35 European countries, EFFAT defends the interests of more than 22 million workers towards the European Institutions, European employers’ associations and transnational companies. EFFAT is a member of the ETUC and the European regional organisation of the IUF.