ADM calls for single strategy to plug jobs gap

By Oscar Rousseau contact

- Last updated on GMT

There could be shortage of graduates in the food sector in a few years time, USDA claim
There could be shortage of graduates in the food sector in a few years time, USDA claim
A senior Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) executive wants the public and private sectors to work on a single strategy to address the millions of jobs expected to go unfilled in food manufacturing.

Speaking at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in the US, senior vice-president and chief human resources officer at ADM, Michael D’Ambrose, said millions of food manufacturing jobs would be lost if “decisive action​” was not taken.

He said ADM, a US-based food processor and commodities trader, was already struggling to fill key positions.

ADM already has hundreds of good-paying jobs we can’t fill because there aren’t enough skilled workers available to us,​” he said at the EEOC panel discussion. “And we’re not alone.​”

Education system criticised

D’Ambrose noted the US Department of Agriculture has projected that within a few years, there will not be enough graduates in fields related to food and agriculture to fill the sector’s roughly 60,000 annual vacancies.

Our educational system needs to put a greater premium on turning out skilled, job-ready workers,​” he added.

And a big part of that challenge involves changing Americans’ perceptions of the value of skilled tradespeople. A skilled tradesperson can earn a great salary – and live a great life – doing fulfilling work that employers value and reward.​”

D’Ambrose aimed a thinly veiled criticism at the American education system, which he said was a root cause behind the lack of job-ready workers and qualified candidates. He said it was a “failure​” that reflected a society that viewed skilled trades as “lesser pursuits​” when compared to college education.

He wants the EEOC to strengthen the links between school and manufacturing to build up a talent pool of candidates that could help address the skilled labour shortage staring the sector in the face.

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