Up to 38,000 jobs could be created in food and drink SMEs in the next year, new figures have suggested.
A study by Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks, which surveyed 1,168 middle managers and above across the UK, suggested that small businesses might grow staff numbers by 3.7% in the next 12 months. It found that 46% of food and drink SMEs intended to recruit new staff in 2014.
A further 38% of food and drink SMEs said they would put aside money to recruit new staff in the coming year.
“Businesses in the food and drinks industry were particularly affected during the recession but they now look set for recovery as more than half are set to increase turnover in the next 12 months,” said Chris Archer, head of food and drinks with Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks.
The research found growing optimism in the food and drinks sector, with 59% of SMEs saying they expected the economy to grow over the next year. More than half of all food and drinks firms have reported they expected their turnover to increase.
“Food and drinks SMEs are now planning for growth and their desire to increase recruitment and invest in their staff is a clear sign that confidence is building within the sector. The creation of new jobs will help boost productivity and competitiveness as well as strengthening the improving economic recovery,” added Archer.