On the 29th September 2019 Martin Collison used SKIN examples of short food chain best practices to speak at a conference in Lincoln, UK on how changes in the structure of the food chain would lead to new skill requirements. Martin then helped facilitate a workshop session with inputs from 40 people which looked at which skills would be needed to support digitalisation of the food chain. This resulted in a matrix of options being developed for future skills.
This matrix identified that the:
- Highest return on investment would come from supporting careers which combined digital skills with agrifood skills, so that digital adoption in the food chain is supported by staff with inter-disciplinary skills;
- Quick wins included developing and using case studies of digital food chain best practice and using interactive games to make the agrifood sector fun for young people;
- With more strategic and longer term needs to use new financial models to help companies and individuals gain the digital skills needs in the food chain to help promote careers in digital skills for the food chain.
This work will inform the Local Industrial Strategy for Greater Lincolnshire which is focusing both on future proofing the agrifood sector and increasing the uptake of digital skills across the economy. The event also featured participants from the National Centre for Food Manufacturing at the University of Lincoln who will use the outputs to inform future course design.