NSAFD chief executive Justine Fosh said: “We know that our sector is facing a skills gap crisis and we urgently need to build our industry’s talent pipeline. This new trailblazer will be an exciting addition to the food and drink sector and will strengthen possible progression routes.
“A wide range of sector stakeholders have contributed to the development of this apprenticeship as well as a mix of major employers and professional engineering institutes, so we are confident we are launching something designed by the industry for the industry.”
Biggest food and drink manufacturing companies
The new Food & Drink Engineering Maintenance (FDEM) Trailblazer apprenticeship has been designed by a steering group consisting of some of the UK’s biggest food and drink manufacturing companies.
Contributors included: 2 Sisters Food Group, Fresh Pastures, Haribo, Heineken UK Limited, KP Snacks, McCain Foods (GB), Nestlé UK & Ireland, Unilever and meat business Tulip.
Claimed to be “game-changing” for the sector, the FDEM trailblazer was said to offer for the first time a unique mix of engineering and food technology skills.
‘Food and drink manufacturing workplace’
“The resulting complementary Level 3 Diploma qualification has been designed to assess skills and knowledge in a food and drink manufacturing workplace,” according to the NSAFD.
Four further trailblazers are under development by the NSAFD and employer groups. The areas covered included: food and drink process operations, advanced food and drink process operations, bakery, and food technology, which are all due to launch in September 2016.
The group is also working on apprenticeships covering advanced standards for bakery and a higher level apprenticeship for food technology and developing standards for food and drink supply chain professionals and fishmongers.
The Food Manufacture Group is staging a Big Video Debate on apprenticeships at the Foodex trade event on Tuesday April 19, between 11.30am to 12.40pm.
Taking part in the panel discussion – Apprenticeships: plugging the skills gap – will be a range of industry experts. Confirmed speakers include: Jon Poole, ceo, Institute of Food Science & Technology and Janette Graham, group technical learning and development manager at 2 Sisters Food Group.
For more information email Mike Stones .
Meanwhile, Foodex 2016 – the premier trade event for the food and drink processing, packaging, ingredients and logistics industries – will take place at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, between April 18 – 20.