Meat Industry Brexit Impact Report

British Meat Processors Association
British Meat Processors Association
Meat plant workers

Government has made it harder for Brits to re-train as much needed meat plant workers

The British meat industry has had a long-running problem which has just been exacerbated by two recent Government decisions. 

Nick Allen, CEO of The British Meat Processors Association Explains: “Currently, not enough British people come forward to work in meat plants, which means the shortfall in staff has to be filled by overseas workers. They have traditionally come from the EU and make up between 50-80% of the workforce in meat plants.

“From now onwards, as a result of Brexit, we’re facing an exodus of our EU staff who will leave behind a big gap in the productive capacity of Britain’s meat processing industry. And Government has just made it doubly difficult to plug that gap.”

In November they announced that Butchers will not now be included on the Shortage Occupation List, despite strenuous recommendations that they should from both the Migration Advisory Committee and, in the last few days, the Environment Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee. This constrains the supply of overseas labour. You can read about this in more detail here.

Then in December, the Department for Education failed to include any food and drink courses, but specifically butchery courses, from the list of Level 3 adult courses eligible for the £95 million Lifetime Skills Guarantee. This puts up a barrier to re-training newly unemployed British workers as the home-grown butchers and meat processors of the future.

Mr Allen added: “By removing funding for this kind of lifetime skills retraining, the Government is making it difficult for the people who need to find new jobs and for the companies that desperately need more staff. With both the demand for and supply of British workers clearly there, adding food and drink qualifications to the Lifetime Skills Guarantee would bring the two together and be a win/win for Government. And this is what we are calling for”.

About BMPA

The British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) is the leading trade association for the meat and meat products industry in the UK.

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Nick Allen spoke to @BBCWorldatOne earlier this week to update listeners on the unfolding Co2 crisis and explain what the 3 week reprieve negotiated by Government means for meat processors.
Also on the on-going labour shortage
Listen from 10:28 mins
https://bbc.in/3EMEkjA

Labour shortage - Nick Allen speaks to Radio 4's You & Yours on the causes of meat plant labour shortages and the temporary fix this strategically key sector needs so it can transition from a predominantly migrant workforce to home-grown workers.
https://bbc.in/3iksMKX

Co2 crisis: @DavidLindars spoke to John Pienaar last night on @TimesRadio.Lost supply won't be replaced in 3 weeks, but BMPA has heard from firms with alternative supply options. We’ll announce more soon.
Listen from 14:01 minutes
https://bit.ly/3zxr4LN