Critical Skills in the Processed Food and Beverages Industry


Industry Coverage
 
The Philippine Standard Industry Classification (PSIC) defined the manufacture of food products and beverages as the production, processing and preservation of meat, fish and other seafoods, fruit, vegetables, oils and fats, including slaughtering and meat packing.
 
Industry Updates
In a day, the average Filipino will eat at least five times--breakfast, segundo almuerza, lunch, merienda and dinner—six, if you count “pulutan”. Even the short breaks between these meals are spent munching on pica-pica. We Filipinos just love to eat.
 
But in today’s busy world, who has time to prepare all that food? People on the go are turning more and more to processed and packaged foods, to meet their needs. So says the 2003 Family Income and Expenditure Survey (FIES) which shows that although family expenditure on food items are decreasing, families are spending more on food consumed outside the home. Data showed that share of food items in family expenditures declined by 0.8% from 43.6% in the year 2000 to 42.8% in 2003. Proportion of expenditure on food consumed at home also went down by 1.1% as it was recorded at 38.6% in 2000 and 37.5% in the year 2003. In contrast, a 0.3%increase in the proportion of food consumed outside increased from 5% in 2000 to 5.3% in 2003.
 
These changes in consumption patterns and continuous improvement in the distribution systems has profited the processed food and beverages industry.
 
Today, food processing is the largest segment of the manufacturing industry and a major source of employment and income. Based on the 2002 Annual Survey of Philippine Business and Industry, food except beverage has 1,093 establishments or 17.1% of the total number of establishments in the manufacturing sector with average total number of employees of 20 or more workers. It was also the leading employer accounting for 15.3% of the total or 144,436 workers.
 
The combined gross value added (GVA) for food manufactures and beverages industries in 2003 accounted for around 42% of the GVA in manufacturing. The GVA for both food manufacturing and beverage industries has been increasing steadily for the past ten years; amounting to PhP101 billion (at constant 1985 prices) for food manufactures and PhP8.77 billion (at constant 1985 prices) for the beverage industries.
 
TVET in the Processed Food and Beverages Industry
 
The Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), the National Meat Inspection Commission (NMIC) and the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (FPA), among other government agencies provide trainings for the processed food and beverages
industry. Public and private tech-voc institutions also offer courses for the industry.
 
However at present, companies commonly conduct in-house trainings to meet their requirements. For companies whose production are automated, suppliers of equipment and machinery also provide training for their clients.
 
Critical Skills in the Industry
 
Unlike other manufacturing industries, the processed food and beverages industry is not dominated by a few large firms with facilities in a number of locations. It is a dynamic industry comprised of a wide selection of enterprises operating under different levels of mechanization, with different market orientations; using various inputs to manufacture an array of products. It is only natural that the skills needs of the industry will also be vast, thus there is a need to establish which skills should be given priority.
 
Critical skills are those that are essential and indispensable in the operations of a firm within an industry. They are critical in the sense that without these skills, firm production operations will be significantly hampered. The major indicators for critical skills are high productivity and high value added, high domestic demand and high overseas demand.
 
In the “Workshop on the Identification of Critical Skills in Priority Sectors, Identification of TVET Issues and Concerns and Validation of Occupational Maps, conducted by TESDA last April 13-14, 2005, industry experts identified critical skills specific to fish-processing—condiments manufacturing sub-sector. However it is noted that the critical skills identified may cut across other sub-sectors in food manufacturing. The following are the critical skills identified with the corresponding description1:
 
Filling Machine Operator
 
Department/Section: Production/Bottling
Reports to: Bottling Supervisor
Work Performed:
·          Responsible for the daily operation and maintenance of the filling machine.
·          Maintains cleanliness of machine’s storage tanks before and after production.
·          Responsible for the fillings of all products. Double checks quality of products for filling; informs Bottling Supervisor concerning sub-standard quality of products and rejects it for bottling if needed.
·          Repairs minor breakdown of the filling machine.
·          Assists Maintenance Staff on the repair of the machine (major defects).
·          Clears out any rubbish, garbage or waste and dispose them properly.
·          Maintains acceptable cleanliness in the work area (must always apply the 5S Housekeeping System).
·          Informs the Line Leader or Bottling Supervisor of any discrepancy that affects the bottling operations.
·          Maintains interface with maintenance staff and/or superior concerning running condition of the filling machine.
·          Participates in special projects as assigned; provides back-up for other functions as requested.
·          Performs other related duties incidental to the work described herein.
Education:Work requires technical graduate
Experience: At least one (1) year experience in hands-on of filling machine
 
Vacuum Sealer Machine Operator
 
Department/Section: Production/Bottling
Reports to: Bottling Supervisor
Work Performed:
  • Responsible for packaging products using vacuum sealer machine.
  • Clears out any rubbish, garbage or waste and disposes them properly.
  • Serves as a reliever of Capper, Bottle Feeder, Labeler, Box Former, Hauler, Machine Operator in case there are no orders requiring vacuum sealer machine.
  •  Maintains acceptable cleanliness in the work area (must always apply the 5S Housekeeping System).
  • Informs the Line Leader or Bottling Supervisor of any discrepancy that affects the bottling operations.
  • Maintains interface with other employees engaged in the bottling operations so as not to hamper operations.
  • Participates in special projects as assigned;provides back up for other functions as requested.
  • Performs other related duties incidental to the work described herein.
Education: Work requires High School level
Experience: At least one (1) year experience in operating vacuum sealer machine
 
Coding Machine Operator
 
Department/Section: Production/Bottling
Reports to: Bottling Supervisor
Work Performed:
  • Responsible for the daily operation and maintenance of the coding machine.
  • Responsible for the distribution of coded labels.
  • Double checks correct specification of code. Rejects incorrect code and informs the Bottling Supervisor.
  • Clears out any rubbish, garbage or waste and dispose them properly.
  • Maintains acceptable cleanliness in the work area (must always apply the 5S Housekeeping System).
  • Informs the Bottling Supervisor of any discrepancy that affects operations in label coding.
  • Maintains interface with maintenance staff and/or superior concerning running condition of the coding machine.
  • Participates in special projects as assigned; provides back up for other functions as requested.
  • Performs other related duties incidental to the work described herein.
Education: Work requires High School Graduate
Experience: At least one (1) year experience in operating coding machine
 
 
Labeling Machine Operator
 
Department/Section: Production/Bottling
Reports to: Bottling Supervisor
Work Performed:
  • Responsible for the daily maintenance of the labeling machine.
  • Maintains cleanliness of machine’s labeling magazine and glue storage before and after production.
  • Operates labeling machines. Checks and maintains excellent quality of the labels on the bottles (e.g. correct barcodes and products, aligned labels).
  • Informs line leaders of rejected labels. (quantity of rejected labels on a daily basis).
  • Repairs minor breakdown of the labeling machine.
  • Assists Maintenance Staff on the repair of machine (major defects).
  • Serves as a reliever in the absence of Filling Machine Operator and Hauler.
  • Clears out any rubbish, garbage or waste and dispose them properly.
  • Maintains acceptable cleanliness in the work area (must always apply the 5S Housekeeping System).
Education: Work requires High School Graduate
Experience: At least one (1) year experience in operating coding machine
 
Equipment Maintenance Technician
 
Department/Section: Maintenance
Reports to: Plant Manager
Work Performed:
  • Monitoring and repairing of all existing machines and equipment (e.g. filling machine, pumps, boiler, generator, compressors, mixing kettles, pressure tanks and pressure vessels) and electrical fixtures (e.g. air-conditioning, lighting, and in-house    fabrication).
  • Responsible for the preventive, corrective, and predictive maintenance of all machines and equipment, and electrical fixtures.
  • Prepares report concerning the running conditions of all machines and equipment (weekly report).
  • Responsible for the requisition of machine’s spare parts.
  • Informs the Plant Manager of any discrepancy that affects the warehouse operations so as not to hamper operations.
  • Informs the Bottling Supervisor of any discrepancy that affects operations in label coding.
  •  Participates in special projects as assigned; provide back up for other functions of the warehouse as requested.
  • Performs other related duties incidental to the work described herein.


Education:

Work requires knowledge of general repair of filling machines and electrical fixtures repair usually acquired through two (2) year course education
Experience: Work generally requires two (2) years of experience in general repair of food processing machines and equipments
 
Hauler/Forklift Operator
 
Department/Section: Production/Bottling
Reports to: Line Leader and Bottling Supervisor
Work Performed:
  • Responsible for loading and unloading of  unformed boxes from warehouse to box forming area.
  • Responsible for the loading and unloading finished products from Production to Warehouse.
  • Informs Line Leader of the quantity of finished products transferred to warehouse on a daily   basis.
  • Piles up finished products in warehouse.
  • Clears out any rubbish, garbage or waste and disposes them properly.
  • Maintains acceptable cleanliness in the work area (must always apply the 5S Housekeeping System).
  • Informs the Line Leader or Bottling Supervisor of any discrepancy that affects the loading and unloading operations.
  • Maintains interface with other employees engaged in the loading and unloading operations so as not to hamper operations.
  • Participates in special projects assigned; provides back-up for other functions as requested.
  • Performs other related duties incidental to the work described herein.
Education: Work requires High School Education
Experience: None
 
Storage/Warehouseman
 
Department/Section: Production/Warehousing
Reports to: Warehouse Manager/ Plant Manager
Work Performed:
  • Responsible for the checking and receiving of incoming deliveries from local suppliers. Instructs/assists supplier where to store deliveries.
  • Responsible for the releasing of stocks to truckers. Implements “first in first out” (FIFO).
  • Responsible for the release of stocks for export. Prepares loading report of export to be submitted to the Warehouse Manager.
  • Supervises loading of products for exports.
  • Prepares daily inventory of stocks (local/export).
  • Responsible for the requisitioning and receiving of packaging materials deliveries. Stores all packaging materials properly.
  • Updates and prepares inventory of packaging materials.
  • Releases packaging materials to Bottling Section and suppliers.
  • Guides the Hauler where to store finished products (export) from Bottling Section.
  • Prepares gate pass of truckers and distributors, and delivery receipts in the absence of the Dispatcher.
  • Clears out any rubbish, garbage or waste and disposes them properly.
  • Maintains acceptable cleanliness in the work area (Must always apply the 5S Housekeeping System).
  • Informs the Plant Manager of any discrepancy that affects warehouse operations that may hamper operations.
  • Participates in special projects as assigned; provide back up for other functions as requested.
  • Performs other related duties incidental to the work described herein.
Education: Work requires knowledge of warehousing good practices, inventory system usually acquired through two (2) year course education
Experience: Work requires one (1) year of experience in food warehousing
 
Packing Machine Operator
Delivery Van Driver
 
In addition to these critical skills, the Stakeholders for the Enhancement of Competencies in Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Inc. (SECAFF), an Industry Working Group collaborating with TESDA, also put forth their priority training focus for food manufacturing2:
Food Safety Competencies Standards across all levels especially good manufacturing practices;
Halal Certification
 
TVET Issues and Concerns
 
Workshop participants also identified TVET-related issues and concerns in the processed food and beverages industry. They also contributed their recommendations to address the particular issues to include:
 
  Issues/ Concerns
Recommendations
Quality of skills in the market needs improvement
TESDA develops programs addressing the stated occupations
Strengthen existing programs
TESDA to identify possible TIs to handle training
Requirement of DOLE to have licensed/ certified worker
Promote assessment and certification of TESDA
TVIs offering/ producing graduates related to the mentioned occupations
Safety of workers through proper handling of equipments
Training on the proper handling of equipment
Training on health and safety consciousness
High domestic/ overseas demand
Ensure enough supply of skilled workers for the mentioned occupations through focused training
Social bias against workers in some occupations
Promote social awareness on the importance of blue-collar occupations
Job enrichment (e.g. more challenging functions/ responsibilities in addition to regular duties
“Glamorizing” job titles (e.g. warehouseman—warehousing assistant)
 
Government Response
 
The government through TESDA has been implemen- ting quality assurance processes for TVET implementation in the country. The agency has been on top of the development of Training Regulations (TRs) in coordination with industry. The Training Regulation is a package of competency standards, national qualifications, training standards documents, assessment and certification    arrangements for nationwide application. To date, the Training   Regulation for Food Processing NC II has been promulgated by the TESDA Board. This will serve as guide in the registration of programs of TVET institutions. Occupations with TRs promulgated by the TESDA Board are subject to mandatory assessment and certification.
 
Under the Unified TVET Program Registration and Accreditation System (UTPRAS), a total of 51 programs on food processing have been already registered per monitoring by TSDO-TESDA.
 
The Competency-Based TVET system is also being adopted in TVET institutions. This is characterized by open entry-exit, recognition of prior learning, modular and self-paced arrangement to allow worker progression in their chosen field of endeavor. With competency based TVET system acquiring a competency will not depend on the   training duration but on the capabilities of the trainees to learn specific competencies.
 
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