New secretary of state backs apprenticeships


The National Skills Academy for Food & Drink (NSAFD) has unveiled the first of 10 new Industry Approved Apprenticeship Programmes for the food and drink industry.

The NSAFD has supported a range of steering groups of major UK food and drink manufacturers in developing the new apprenticeship standards, which span key skills shortage areas including engineering, food science, operations management and bakery, among others.

Each Industry Approved Apprenticeship Programme (IAAP) has been designed by the industry and contains an approved qualification – either a new qualification designed for the apprenticeship, or a degree put through a rigorous assessment process to ensure it is right for the industry. The supporting training materials have been developed and signed off by industry and, crucially, IAAPs are only available from providers which have demonstrated delivery capability.

Attending the launch of the programmes at a House of Commons event, environment secretary Andrea Leadsom dedicated her first speech in her new role to the importance of apprenticeships, saying they would be one of her key priorities.

She notes, “Apprenticeships not only transform lives, but also give our country the highly skilled workforce it needs to flourish. I welcome these new Industry Approved Apprenticeship courses that have the backing of leading awarding bodies. They illustrate perfectly what can happen when employers and the sector work together.

“We need these skilled people ready to take up jobs in areas like food science and engineering. That is why Defra has committed to trebling food and farming apprenticeships by 2020.”

The new apprenticeships are the result of over two years of industry collaboration and the hard work of the industry steering groups. The IAAPs launched at the event were:

  • Level 2 Food & Drink Process Operator
  • Level 2 Baker
  • Level 2 Fishmonger
  • Level 3 Advanced Baker
  • Level 3 Food & Drink Advanced Operator
  • Level 3 Food Technologist
  • Level 3 Supply Chain Professional
  • Level 3 Food & Drink Maintenance Engineer
  • Level 5 Advanced Dairy Technologist
  • Level 6 Food Industry Technical Manager

The Level 2 Food & Drink Process Operator, Level 3 Food & Drink Advanced Operator, Level 3 Food Technologist, Level 3 Food & Drink Maintenance Engineer and Level 5 Advanced Dairy Technologist apprenticeships will be operational from September, with the remaining five going live in the New Year.

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