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About the initiative
and the report

The European social partners, FoodDrinkEurope and EFFAT, have joined forces to identify bottlenecks in recruiting new and skilled employees and to tackle challenges arising when companies have an ageing workforce.

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Download the report  Case studies

FoodDrinkEurope EFFAT

New apprenticeship programme “Food technician” in Austria

Main driver behind the newly introduced apprenticeship scheme “Food technician” was the Austrian employers’ organisation “Fachverband der Lebensmittelindustrie”, who initiated and developed the programme inclusive of training curricula in close cooperation with the trade union Pro-Ge in 2008. The apprenticeship for the food technician takes 3 ½ years.

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Introduction of extra days of paid leave for older workers in the Belgian food industry

The previous government in power in Belgium changed the conditions for early retirement. Because of this, many workers close to retirement age are obligated to work longer than expected. The current government has decided to make the conditions even stricter and have increased the retirement age from 65 to 67 years. Hence, the social partners have decided to provide better conditions for workers with seniority. The objective is both preventive and a compensatory. In the recent negotiations, the social partners have renegotiated the conditions for extra days of leave.

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Industrial learning agreement in Belgium

Several sectors of activity in Belgium already have a system in place for the 15/25 years old jobseekers that combines learning with working. This is the case for the food industry. The programme is co-managed by the trade unions and employers’ organizations: they have set up an “apprenticeship Committee” that identifies learning and employment priorities, in cooperation with professional / technical schools. The social partners are the ones who can deliver homologation to companies who wish to hire apprentices. The programme allows people to learn on-the job during one or two years. They go to school two days a week, and work in a company three days a week. They get paid a salary for the days they work. The salary is of 50% of the minimum hourly wage and bonuses and/or incentives to promote motivation and presence at work.

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Exchange of good practices and learning network in Belgium

The sectorial training institute IFP (Institut de Formation Professionnelle), the food industry training institute (managed jointly by the sectorial social partners), has set up a learning network of social actors and companies involved in the training of workers.

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Company pension scheme at Unilever in Germany

The Additional Company Pension Scheme of Unilever (UZR) was initiated by the Unilever work council (Konzernbetriebsrat – group works council) as a part of a demography project. In a joint social partner approach, Unilever management and works council agreed to create the UZR as a measure to ensure flexible transitions from working to pension life. An agreement was signed by management and works council. The UZR is an additional measure to existing statutory and collective agreement pension schemes.

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Training and upskilling programme at Arla Foods in Denmark

Arla Foods (Dairy company, number of employees: 19,600) has started an extensive skills development and upskilling programme in 2009. The initiative goes back to the social partners in the Danish dairy industry, who has agreed to upgrade the skills all employees in the dairy industry within the next years.

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Upskilling and increasing the competence of production workers at Bisca in Denmark

The Danish company Bisca is a manufacturer for biscuits and cakes with around 460 employees. Bisca is located in an area offering only few alternative jobs. The company’s workforce includes many low skilled and unskilled workers.

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Active involvement of employees in innovation activities at Easyfood in Denmark

The Danish convenience food producer Easyfood is a small and medium sized company (SME) founded in 2000. According to the company a high level of innovation and uniqueness in its product range is highly important to Easyfood. The company recruits workers from other food industries. Since their work organization is very different from other companies, there is a need for specific training.

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Tasting Professions in the food industry in Finland

Project “Tasting Profession” in food industry. Information campaign to the youth about different kinds of professions and work in food industry.
Websites, videos, information of education have been published. Social partners occasionally visit schools and upper-schools with food specialists who explain their job tasks and working conditions.

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Food Chain Contract: Promoting social dialogue & quality of employment in France

The food chain contract was signed in June 2013 between several branches of the food chain, trade unions and the state (ministry and regions). There is an employment section in this sector contract.

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TiL – Transfer of Innovative HR Solutions in the food industry

The project TiL gives management representatives and works councils in the food industry the opportunity to develop innovative solutions to actively manage the impact of demographic change and to create working conditions matching the requirements of an ageing workforce. The project is supported by consultants and experts, the trade union NGG is active project partner.

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Project “SPILL” – Lifelong learning in Germany

Joint social partners initiative: “ Sozialpartnerinitiative Lebenslanges Lernen” (SPILL)
Through technological progress and innovations, adaptation processes take place everywhere and result in qualification needs for employees in general and an ageing workforce in particular.

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Female Leadership Programme at Coca-Cola AG in Germany

Female Leadership Programme “Achieve your best”: 25 female managers participated in a three-day workshop in 2013 that provided them with tools to be their best. Participants were asked to consider their personal leadership experience, and to identify their goals for the future. Future leaders were asked to identify what was truly important to them, both in the professional and private environment.

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Nestlé Youth Employment Initiative

• Given the high youth unemployment in Europe, Nestlé is actively engaged in bringing in young people into work across borders.
• In Germany, young people will benefit from over 2,400 offers for direct entry or for vocational qualifications at more than 20 locations.
• Programmes for trainees or apprentices are also offered in several other European countries like Spain or Portugal.

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Family-Friendly Working Environment at Danone GmbH in Germany

For a family-friendly working environment at Danone GmbH, the company is cooperating with the Family Service GmbH.

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Work-Life-Balance and recognising voluntary work at Dr. August Oetker in Germany

Dr. August Oetker Nahrungsmittel KG has a programme to promote work-life-balance and reconciliation of work and family.

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Nestlé Reverse mentoring programme – Younger employees training older employees in Italy

The Nestlé Reverse mentoring programme gives younger employees the opportunity to share their latest knowledge on how to use social media with more senior colleagues. Since the launch of this intergenerational knowledge transfer programme, 80 pairs of Nestlé Senior Executives and junior team members have worked together in Italy and at the Nestlé International headquarters.

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FEED: Improving the recruitment of young people in the food sector in Norway

The Feed project was a common project of the Norwegian social partners in the food and drink industry from 2011 to 2014.

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Demography project at Unilever in Germany

Initiated by the German Unilever groups works council (Konzernbetriebsrat) of Germany in 2011, both HR management and works council agreed on a joint demography project to actively handle the impact and challenges of demographic change at the company level.

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“Mentoring programme” at Pfeifer & Langen Polska

The good practice example at the Polish sugar company Pfeifer & Langen is twofold:

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Recruitment initiatives to attract young people at Mars Polska

Mars is a “learner-centred” organisation laying stress on developing skills and leadership qualities.

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Proactive recruitment of youngsters at New England Seafood, UK

New England Seafood is a fish processing business in Chessington on the outskirts of London. In the past it has relied for its permanent factory staff on conversion of temporary labour to permanent employees after a 12-week trial period.

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Implementing the Occupational Safety and Health Directive in the Romanian food industry

General objective: Implementing better actions and measures for preventing professional risks in the Food industry, focusing on small and medium enterprises (SME), in order to improve the occupational safety and health.

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Pass’IFRIA – a tailor-made approach to training in the food industry in France

The Pass’IFRIA is a course of integration and training of six months for new workers in the food industry. It is a short training, centred on practical skills. It is completely accomplished within the company through dual training, with theoretical lessons and training at the workplace.

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Teknikcollege in Sweden: Network of competence centers for quality standards in training

Teknikcollege is a network of competence centers setting quality standards for technical education in Sweden. Within the network of Teknikcollege companies cooperate with municipalities and providers of education (colleges, technical universities, secondary schools) to create and supervise technology-oriented courses at different levels, matching the skills needs of the industry.

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Taste Success: A Future in Food in the UK

Food and Drink Federation Careers Campaign: Taste Success A Future in Food
‘Taste Success – A Future in Food’ is an industry-led award winning campaign to attract new talent to UK food and drink manufacturing. The campaign engages with young people via various channels to bust the myths about food and drink manufacturing and raise awareness of the good career prospects in the sector has to offer. The campaign also engages with a number of stakeholder groups including teachers, parents and careers advisors to make them aware of the opportunities in our sector.

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Recruiting young talents at Mondelēz International in the UK

Mondelēz International in the UK offers a range of early careers opportunities including school leaver, apprenticeship, RD&Q traineeship and graduate programmes within manufacturing, engineering, research & development, commercial and corporate functions across our sites

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Age Management Initiative at Nordic Sugar in Finland

In 2013/2014 the Porkkala sugar refinery, Finland (a subsidiary of Nordzucker/Nordic Sugar) started a dedicated programme for personnel aged 58 or more.

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