A STUDY OF HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT FOR MIDDLE AND HIGHER LEVEL EMPLOYEES IN THE FOOD INDUSTRY TO ENHANCE PRODUCTIVITY AND COMPETITIVENESS IN THAILAND

S. Suwannathep, P. Arpanutud, S. Kiratipiboon

Abstract


The food industry, in this paper, is defined as the process of transforming agricultural raw material into semi-finished or finished products with longer shelf-lives for further processing or for consumption. The food industry is a labor intensive industry. The majority of the workforce or about 73 percent are unskilled labors working on production lines. Few are middle and higher level employees working in maintenance, quality control, and research and development. The demand for middle and higher level workforce working in value chain primary function has increased with the growth of the food industry, and one of the measures to increase competitiveness is to increase the skills and knowledge or competency of these employees. The core competency of the middle and higher level employees required for working in the primary four functions of the value chain of the food industry (research and development, production, quality control, and marketing) can be classified into two categories: a) General competency refers to skills and knowledge required for all who are working in any functions of the value chain in the food industry. b) Specific Competency refers to skills and knowledge required for those who are working in any particular function of the value chain in the food industry. The study found that there were gaps between the required competencies and existing competencies, the general competency gaps which urgently need filling are skills and knowledge in quality control, quality assurance, and food safety regulations; in agriculture basis; and English. Moreover, the specific competency gaps to be filled are as follows: for research and development, key functions concern biotechnology, nutrition, and packaging development; for production, key functions concern business and environment management. This study proposes three strategies for developing the quality of middle and higher level employees working for the food industry, namely, a strategy of collaboration between education institutions and industry, a strategy of enhancing potential and expertise in education institutions, and a strategy of workforce development.

Keywords: Food Industry

 

For full paper: fmscresearch@sjp.ac.lk


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Faculty of Management Studies & Commerce