Heckworst boss wants to hire inmates and Afghan refugees to fill workforce gaps he blames for Brexit
- Andrew Keeble calls for urgent action to tackle the food workforce crisis
- He has even called for rapid monitoring of Afghan refugees who are being processed
- He has launched a bid to recruit serving prisoners to train them in food production
The founder of Heck sausage says he plans to hire prisoners and Afghan refugees to help overcome a “post-Brexit labor shortage.”
Andrew Keeble has written to local MP and Chancellor Rishi Sunak calling for urgent action to address the food staffing crisis.
He has even called for the swift tracking of Afghan refugees being processed to fill the workers’ void.
Andrew Keeble has written to local MP and Chancellor Rishi Sunak, calling for urgent action to tackle the food workforce crisis
And now he has launched an effort to recruit serving prisoners to train them in food production.
Mr Keeble said: ‘We are trying to look at as many routes as possible to hire people – be it local people, school leavers or giving skills to serving prisoners in food production.
“There is no doubt that many of the inmates currently serving their sentences would make great drivers, butchers, bakers and cooks.
“Many other companies, such as Timpson and Cook, take a similar approach.”
Based in Bedale, North Yorkshire, the company is the largest independent sausage and sausage maker in the UK.
But it faces staff shortages in September and said it urgently needs to fill shipping, distribution and marketing functions.
Mr. Keeble, who founded the company, has previously expressed concerns about the labor market gap for the food industry.
And he even fears that the Christmas stock of pigs in blankets could be threatened, as production could be cut by a third.
He said: ‘The biggest problem in the food and supply industry is recruitment and retention.
“British people don’t see food as a destination career, but we have people who started working for us straight out of school, whom we trained and are now in charge of marketing and sales.”
Based in Bedale, North Yorkshire, the company is the UK’s largest independent sausage and sausage maker
The company has begun training its own employees to distribute their sausages and sausages to customers to combat the industry’s crippling shortage of carriers.
Mr. Keeble’s son, Roddy, is now filling in the gaps and driving up and down the country.
The bangers boss said, “We’ve tried our regular carrier, we’ve tried third-party carriers, but there’s no availability, they all laughed at me when I said I wanted a truck tomorrow night.
“It’s getting so bad, that’s the only way we can do it.
“Everyone has their opinion on why there are shortages, but the truth is that a large number of Eastern European people have gone home and don’t want to come back – they feel unwelcome after Brexit, which is a shame.
“The government must take urgent action. They need to come on top of the issuance of settlement codes, we know there are people waiting to come and work in the UK.
‘Why shouldn’t we speed up the settlement of refugees, if these guys want work, we’ve got it for them.’