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Chris Bell

FDF Partners with Recruitment Apps to Support Workers



Gavin Darby, Tim Rycroft & Industry Insiders Praise Fast Action & Collaboration in the Wake of COVID-19

In a bid to support the interests of the UK’s food and beverage manufacturing industry, the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) acted this month on a new program with several recruitment apps, setting in motion a 16-week partnership to share potential job opportunities and employ displaced workers across the sector amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which has many UK workers facing redundancy or placed on furlough. The partnership will focus on jobs in distribution warehouses, driving and logistics, currently through the partner apps Placed, SonicJobs and Syft.

Former FDF President Gavin Darby praised the announcement, noted that “labour supply and skills had been key elements of recent FDF focus , and this initiative seems to be highly relevant in the pandemic crisis “  

The partnerships come at the height of a spike in unemployment across the country. More than 1.4 million people have applied for the universal credit benefit since the COVID-19 pandemic began, while studies are showing hiring falling at its fastest pace since the financial crisis. Hospitality chiefs say hundreds of thousands of staff have lost jobs in their sector alone as venues have shut. According to the FDF, the combined databases of Placed, SonicJobs and Syft contain over 360,000 full time and temporary job seekers in the UK, and the collaboration goal to provide assistance and placement between the partners is a small step toward continued success for the sector.

Nicki Hunt, director of membership and commercial engagement at the FDF said: “The food and drink supply chain employs so many talented people, the hidden heroes who keep the country fed, and during challenging times such as these it’s important we can support one another in whatever way possible.”

Syft is one of the country’s leading flexible staffing platforms, connecting fully verified workers with extensive experience in warehousing, driving, and logistics sectors. They are also GLAA licensed to supply food packaging and processing roles to help the FDF’s members continue to meet unprecedented demand during the outbreak.

London-based Placed has 130,000 experienced hospitality candidates signed up to their platform and uses smart technology to smooth out the entire recruitment process, matching the right places to the right people in the very first instance.

SonicJobs is the #1 app in the UK for retail, hospitality, healthcare, logistics, cleaning and beauty; and the winner of the “Best Innovation” from the National Online Recruitment Awards. They estimate that of the more than 200,000 candidates signed up to their platform, more than 74% of their user base has the necessary transferable skills and experience the FDF can employ.

“We are delighted to be able to announce this partnership” said FDF’s COO, Tim Rycroft. “Food and drink workers across the supply chain are hidden heroes. The FDF wanted to provide a solution for those who may be struggling to find work from other sectors and move them into food and drink where possible and [collaboration with our partner apps] provides this opportunity. We hope this is the first of similar collaborations so sectors can share expertise and resources while the country navigates its way through this difficult time.”

“At Syft, we are determined to continue to help people get jobs during these difficult times,” said Jack Beaman, Syft’s Chief Executive Officer. “Partnering with the FDF will help thousands of our workers with prior experience in industrial and warehousing to get access to work. Our platform enables food and drink supply chain businesses to gain instant access to verified workers, lifting their staffing pressure and workload in this critical period.”

As part of the partnership, Syft will work with the FDF’s food and drink members to access their database of over 33,000 workers to fill essential jobs, helping as many UK citizens as possible return to work, while also helping the federation’s members more easily recruit, identify and hire new candidates.