Confectionery manufacturer warns of shortage of low-skilled workers

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Availability of workforce is a big problem for food producers, and there is a big shortage of low-qualified workforce, Toms Didrihsons, the board chairman of Orkla Confectionery & Snacks Latvija food producer told LETA news agency August 13. 

He said that availability of workforce has always been a challenge, especially in such jobs as food technologist and engineer. Many food producers have adapted to the situation and have understood that they have to train their own employees.

"There is a problem and it is getting bigger because we see that people are leaving Latvia, also the qualified workforce. Due to demography, there are fewer potential students. In a short term, the shortage of low-qualified workforce is a bigger problem. This issue depends on the Saeima – by rejecting low-qualified workforce from abroad, we are shooting our own leg," said Didrihsons, adding that Estonia is solving the workforce issue much quicker, and it leaves a negative impact on Latvia’s competitiveness.

Didrihsons said that Orkla Confectionery & Snacks Latvia this year invested €1.2 million in robotization that replaces almost 20 jobs. These were 20 vacancies and no people were fired due to the project. "These are large investments and they require time," he said.

As reported, consolidated sales of Orkla Confectionery & Snacks Latvija last year reached €81.1 million, or by €3.3 million or 4.3% more than in 2016, while the company’s consolidated profit reached €3.1 million.

Orkla Confectionery & Snacks Latvija is one of the leading producers of chocolate, confectionery and snacks in the Baltic states. Orkla Confectionery & Snacks Latvija’s portfolio includes the following brands - Laima, Selga, Staburadze, AdazuCipsi and Taffel.

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