NSAFD unveils Trailblazer apprenticeships
The National Skills Academy for Food & Drink (NSAFD) has unveiled its new engineering apprenticeship for the food and drink industry as part of the UK government’s Trailblazer programme.
The apprenticeship has been designed by a steering group supported by the NSAFD, which consists of companies including 2 Sisters Food Group, Fresh Pastures, Haribo, Heineken UK, KP Snacks, McCain Foods (GB), Nestlé UK & Ireland, Unilever and Tulip.
Officially launching at the Food & Drink Skills Conference on 11 February, the Food & Drink Engineering Maintenance (FDEM) Trailblazer apprenticeship has been described as ‘game changing’ for the sector, resulting in a course which, for the first time, combines a mix of engineering and food technology skills. The resulting complementary Level 3 Diploma qualification has been designed to assess skills and knowledge in a food and drink manufacturing workplace.
The steering group has selected Selby, Wiltshire, Peterborough Regional, Carlisle, Leicester, Middlesbrough, Kirklees and Birmingham Metropolitan Colleges, as well as the College of West Anglia and Midland Group Training Services, to be the industry approved training providers who will deliver the new trailblazer.
The NSAFD and employer groups have a further four trailblazers in development, covering 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, as well as developing standards for food and drink supply chain professionals and fishmongers.
Justine Fosh, chief executive of NSAFD, says, “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.”