Food and drink apprenticeship model is 'collapsing'

By Rick Pendrous

- Last updated on GMT

Lack of training provision could torpedo the bid to boost apprenticeships
Lack of training provision could torpedo the bid to boost apprenticeships

Related tags Apprenticeship

Prime minster David Cameron’s plans to raise the number of apprenticeships, including those in the food and drink sector, by 3M by 2020 could be torpedoed by a failure to properly finance the training provision required, according to the boss of food qualifications awarding body FDQ.

FDQ director Derek Williams said that despite the “hype”​ surrounding apprenticeships, in which the government sees food as a priority, the past two years had seen "between a 30% and 35% drop in the take-up of apprenticeships".

Williams put this down to apprenticeships being “provider driven”,​ while providers were being starved of cash. “It’s largely a free service for employers and with providers having economic difficulties in respect of government funding, they are not providing that service,”​ he said.

‘Drying up’

As a result, the apprenticeship training supply side is “drying up”​, he said. “Therefore employers will not do it if there is nobody knocking on their front door.”

Unless the problem was resolved, Williams predicted the UK food and drink industry would continue to rely on skilled workers from other EU Members States and elsewhere to meet its needs.

“The whole apprenticeship model at the moment is collapsing in food and drink,”​ claimed Williams.

Not addressing encouraging employers

“The Trailblazer initiative is all well and proper as it is part of the government policy for a new​ [apprenticeship] framework, but what we are not addressing is the actual delivery, capability – and capacity and encouraging employers to take apprentices.”

Williams predicted a further decline in numbers of food and drink apprenticeships “against all the government and other agency rhetoric saying that apprenticeships are on the increase”.

“I am seriously concerned that the continuing decline will reach a point so low that it will be difficult to recover sufficient credible numbers for apprenticeships to be recognised as a valued pathway into work in the industry.”

Meanwhile, read how the campaign to save​ the food A-level is hotting up.

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1 comment

Cross national governmental model failures must be publicized

Posted by Carrie Devorah,

I for one am not surprised reading this model is a failure. The US while pushing entrepreneurship has failed to publish entrepreneurial reports since 2010 concurrent to pushing VC backed startup notions.

The in the weeds data the US government does not publish is that most startups fail, something tried and true business people know; second, that the US government is the biggest customer of these startups that go through rounds of VC funding; and thirdly, that the US government initiated a dollar for dollar matching program for venture Capitol dollars so that if ie. KPCB put $10 million in to a funding, the US government paid KPCB $10 million, a win win game for the VC making money, a no gamble win win for the VC, a win win for the US government making the economy look better and a lose lose for the global economy looking awesome before it swan dives off the economic cliff right where the game changer has been moving as intended all this time, topics I write on adressing the impact of Tech on IP &ID and ARTS, driving a global economic 'prototype' of a google driverless car.

Yes, like it or not, this agenda was set in to play under the 1992-1999 Oval Office occupant documented.

Carrie Devorah
Washington, DC

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