Exploring the Talent Needs for Food Safety Professionals in Established Food Processing Companies in Trinidad by Exploring the Talent Needs for Food Safety Professionals in Established Food Processing Companies in Trinidad by

Globalization and the advancement of technologies have contributed to an extended and more complex food chain and increased competitiveness in the local and world markets. Food manufacturing companies are therefore forced to rely on efficient production systems which require individuals with specific skills. This study seeks to identify the skills that are necessary for quality food production and to determine if the undergraduate food programs adequately equip students with these skills. It also determined the advantages and disadvantages of employing graduates with adequate/limited theoretical and practical food skills. A total of 33 food processing companies in Trinidad participated in the study. Questionnaires were administered to participants using electronic mails and interviews. Data was collected on the characteristics, employees’ skills, and the employment needs of each food companies. Fourteen types of food companies were surveyed across Trinidad. Majority of the respondents (94.1%) stated that University of the West Indies (UWI) graduates working in their companies lack the practical skills required (P=0.001); while 58% stated these graduates were not adequately trained (P=0.23). Food companies indicated that the most important skills needed were: teamwork, communication and people skills (P=0.001). There were several advantages and disadvantages of employing persons with adequate/limited food skills; the most popular advantage was “employees carrying out tasks efficiently” and the most popular disadvantage was “employees producing poor quality work” (P=0.13 and P=0.85 respectively). This research provided an overview on the food skills of graduates from the UWI food programs currently working in the food and beverage sector of Trinidad. It also indicated the most highly desired skills by employers and provided recommendations for the improvement of skills in the food sector.

Issue Date:
Aug 29 2018
Publication Type:
Journal Article
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Published in:
Farm and Business - The Journal of the Caribbean Agro-Economic Society, 10, 1
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 Record created 2018-08-29, last modified 2020-10-28

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