Top Skills Food Manufacturing Professionals Will Need In 2023

Are you ready for the future? Technology has fundamentally changed every industry, and the food and beverage manufacturing industry is no different. To stay on top of your game, food and beverage manufacturing professionals will need to upskill for tomorrow's world but don’t worry it is not as scary as it sounds. 

Canada’s food and beverage processing industry is one of the largest and most important manufacturing industries – contributing more than $103.4 billion in shipping products each year. The industry will need an additional 17, 000 new employees to keep up with growing demand. 

Food Processing Skills

Yep, that's a lot of dollars and people. Yet labour shortages are putting the industry under pressure. The industry recognises the need for training, and is putting its money and best resources forward to meet the demand. 

The government is taking action. The Future Skills Centre announced a $1.62 million investment into positioning Canada’s food and beverage manufacturing industry for a strong recovery and growth post-Covid, earlier this year. 

Their plan includes:

  • Leveraging artificial intelligence
  • Implementing new technological advancements to automate certain processes in the food and beverage supply chain 
  • Upskilling and reskilling employees with training programmes for the future 

Employers are worried about the skills shortage in the food and beverage processing industry, which presents you as a skilled professional with ample opportunity to position yourself with success! 

We don’t see robots taking over any of the food and manufacturing professional profiles just yet, but upskilling yourself in digital skills and green skills as we move to more sustainable sourcing will help put you a step above the rest. 

Skills For Highly-Skilled Food And Beverage Processing Professionals

So what are some of these skills you should be focusing on to level up your career? QTalent has broken it down based on a few food and beverage manufacturing profiles. 

Food Processing Supply Chain Employee

Supply Chain Employee 

Traceability is a big trend in food production currently. Supply chain employees will need enhanced skills in providing visibility across the supply chain. 

  • Enhanced digital skills to understand all technology tools used in the organization
  • Ability to collect and analyse data to forecast and predict risk across the entire supply chain
  • Enhanced business acumen 
  • Excellent project management skills 

Food Safety Regulations

Food Safety Professionals

National and international regulations are changing quickly, and there are constantly new methods of food safety and risk analysis that food safety professionals need to stay abreast of. 

  • Knowledge in regulatory compliance as legislation around product development is critical such as new commodities available and their associated risks, detailed knowledge of microbiology, and mastery regarding factors involved in spoilage and shelf-life extension. 
  • Expertise with the latest innovations is key, such as new and up-and-coming food-processing techniques, e.g., thermal processing
  • Collaboration with R&D, operations, and finance is an essential skill needed to be able to meet new legislation requirements. 

Food Production Line Worker

General Line Worker  

General production workers will need to upskill in mechanical and digital skills, as the sector moves away from manual labour toward automation.

  • Mechanical aptitude and improved knowledge of equipment and operations will become mandatory. 
  • Collaboration, communication, problem-solving, and critical thinking will be required as production workers are expected to troubleshoot issues, identify risks and make decisions to facilitate processes. 
  • Robust quality control and quality assurance knowledge will be commonplace. 

Food Production Engineer

Food Engineer  

Food Scientists/Engineers will be required to improve existing and develop new products at an increasingly rapid pace to meet consumer demand. Research and collaboration with other departments will be crucial skills. 

  • Agility is an important skill where food scientists will need to quickly reformulate and/or deliver new products that meet consumer preferences 
  • Research skills will pay off as demand for alternative ingredients and new packaging solutions become expected (Non-GMO/ Plant-based/ biodegradable)
  • Digital intelligence to integrate new technology and processes into existing systems
  • Co-ordinate other departments and get stakeholder buy-in with enhanced presentation skills and critical thinking abilities. 


Future-proofing your skills as a food and beverage professional

Preparing for the future can always feel a bit overwhelming, but you don’t need to fear a “Revenge of the Robots” scenario, we’ll leave the killer robots for Sci-Fi Hollywood. But what you should do is focus on constantly learning and improving your skills. 

Short courses and in-house training are great places to start. You can also check out which certifications may advance your career here. The best advice we can give you is to apply for a company that invests in upskilling and reskilling its employees. 

QTalent does just that. It is the first talent discovery platform in Canada that allows you to find a company and position that suits your current skill set and offer training to progress your career in the long term. If you are a highly-skilled technical operations professional in the Meat, Dairy, Bakery & Beverage industries (and more to come!), let QTalent help you find the perfect employer that will invest in your future. We are not like any other job board out there; our sophisticated technology lets you: 

  • Meet your training and career development goals with a robust search engine that lets you search by L&D programmes and training the company offers! 
  • Do research on the company with robust company profiles 
  • Match your skill set to the employer's requirements 

Find secure your future career progression, today. Check out

Romy Zwiers


Romy Zwiers is a journalist and marketing professional with 16 years of experience working across industries with a keen focus on the beverage and food industry, having worked with companies like KFC, Nandos, Cadbury and Coca-Cola.

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