Thousands of new jobs could be created within the food and drink manufacturing sector over the coming years thanks to increased spend from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
New data from Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks revealed that 46 per cent of SME food and drink manufacturers were planning to take on new members of staff in the next 12 to 18 months. The survey showed that a large number of firms were expecting to increase their spend on recruitment potentially generating as many as 40,000 new jobs within the sector.
The research found that, on average, SMEs expect to increase their staff numbers by 3.7 per cent with 38 per cent of companies stating they would be spending additional money on staffing. This goes beyond the current budgets set out at the beginning of each financial year and highlights the positive outlook many companies have going into the rest of the year and beyond.
Food and drink manufacturing is enjoying somewhat of a boom when it comes to employment opportunities. The research found that the sector is becoming increasingly optimistic with 59 per cent saying the economy will grow over the next year with a further 57 per cent expecting their turnover to increase during this period.
Stuart McCallum head of Food and Drinks with Clydesdale Bank in Scotland, said: “Food and drinks SMEs are now planning for growth and their desire to increase recruitment and invest in their staff is a clear sign that confidence is building within the sector.
"The creation of new jobs will help boost productivity and competitiveness as well as strengthening the improving economic recovery."
SMEs are increasingly optimistic despite a recent Nielsen report showing a drop in fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) volumes in the UK. While there was a 3.8 per cent year-on-year rise in the second quarter of 2014 in Europe there was a stagnation of just 1.2 per cent increase in the UK.