Which drivers of change will affect their skills?
Globalisation affects jobs and skills of these workers, but in different ways, depending on the sector they work for: globalisation of markets and production lines has had negative effects on employment in the European fashion and textile manufacturing. However, potential opportunities arise for those able to capitalise on increasing demand in emerging markets, including those working in tailoring, dressmaking and upholstery 
. To ensure better correspondence of products to international clients’ needs, it will be important to understand and meet changing trends in different countries, along with second language skills. Furthermore, in light of rising costs outside Europe and adverse publicity regarding the labour conditions of production workers abroad, some retailers are beginning to ‘re-shore’ their supply-chains 
. Reshoring can provide food process and garment workers in Europe with new employment opportunities, since they possess the required technical skills and an ability to adapt to new production processes.
In garments, most employers in Europe are SMEs, or even micro establishments (less than 10 persons). For such enterprises, garment production workers may need to get in direct contact with clients 
. In these cases, marketing and social media skills will rise in importance, as clients increasingly use these social media platforms to provide feedback on products, share ideas and send other enquiries 
. Marketing skills will also facilitate the effective use of social media to reach a greater number of clients across a region or even other countries, via the internet 
Social media is one of a number of tools which can be used to develop a brand, or product, identity or narrative with which consumers can associate and interact. Brand interaction and values have become more important to consumers, especially in the textiles, clothing, footwear and leather sectors 
. So, workers in these sectors should be able to develop, understand and communicate the benefits of their own firms’ craftsmanship, manufacturing methods and materials, which can then act as unique selling points to customers.
As consumer awareness of the social and environmental impacts of production increases, businesses must develop their practices to tackle these issues 
. In food processing, new measurement systems are being used to reduce wastage, requiring employees to be able to develop new skills quickly and also to possess a strong aptitude in both numeracy and literacy, in order to measure and report on potential wastages 
The EU has funded an online learning platform project, which focuses specifically on reducing wastage in food processing. In line with many recent developments, and the expansion of ‘anytime anywhere’ training methods, the Food Recovery Waste Reduction Project has the potential to provide workers with professional development opportunities, such as adapting to new equipment and processes, active learning and various other important skills relevant to the drivers listed above. The fact that this training can be accessed online allows many people in this occupational group to fit these activities into their schedules.
Source: The Food Recovery Project
National and EU-level regulation provide part of the operating environment in this occupation. For example, hygiene regulation and frequent inspections are the norm in food processing, whilst clothing and textiles occupations are affected by limitations such as on the use of certain chemicals and substances in production. Workers need to keep abreast of regulatory changes and be flexible and responsive to any changes that may occur in the future 
As one of the key drivers of shifting employment demand, technological change will continue to heavily impact upon the skills required of staff in this occupational group. Examples of these advances in the food-processing sector include sensor monitoring, non-thermal pasteurisation and sterilisation heating 
. Workers in this occupation will likely have to diversify their production and processing skillset to adapt to new machinery and equipment in food, fashion and woodwork production 
. Technical skills are required in the set-up, monitoring and maintenance of such specialised equipment.
The growing importance of sustainable agriculture and aquaculture, animal welfare, and organic production is changing the way that many butchers, fishmongers and other food processing workers source and market their products, as new opportunities emerge in consumer markets 
. Knowledge of environmental issues and of supply chains is important to ensure the quality and sustainability of production.
Risk of automation: As a part of its Digitalisation and future of work project
, Cedefop estimates the risks of automation
for occupations. The most exposed occupations are those with significant share of tasks that can be automated – operation of specialised technical equipment, routine or non-autonomous tasks – and those with a small reliance on communication, collaboration, critical thinking and customer-serving skills. The risk of automation is further accentuated in occupations where employees report little access to professional training that could help them to cope with labour market changes. Other manufacturing workers are reportedly an occupation with very high risk of automation.