The UK food industry requires a stream of new talent to enter the sector on an ongoing basis, however trends are showing that interest in food science and technology within higher education has declined at an alarming rate.
The industry has reported skills gaps and shortages in food science and technology for many years. These qualifications are important in the first steps to address these skills gaps and shortages.
We encourage colleges and individuals to engage with these qualifications, to enable the industry in the UK to fill skills gaps.
These qualifications can upskill those already working in the industry, and provide a basis from which individuals can develop skills in this exciting area of the food industry. For example, the level 3 qualification in this suite can provide a stepping stone to both higher education and management.
These qualifications are designed for learners who are considering progression to the next level of learning in food technology training and education. They may be funded for 16-18 year olds as part of a Study Programme, and learners of 24 years and over may consider an Adult Learner Loan at a Further Education College in England.
They offer learners the opportunity to develop food science and technology skills and knowledge that will support a range of occupational roles in the food and drink industry.
The broad choice of qualification units accommodates a very wide selection of roles; such as those in product or process development, technical and specialist management, quality assurance, traceability and testing, product labelling and packaging.
Level 3 Diploma in Food Technology and Management - £109.50
Level 3 Diploma in Food Technology - £109.50
Trained and assessed in a learning or college environment, these qualifications are also known as vocationally-related qualifications (VRQs).
They are designed to support progression to the next level of learning.
I was lucky enough to be part of the dream team that designed the butcher standard – the first food craft apprenticeship to be approved by government. Now I head up the leading end-point assessment organisation for the butchery apprenticeship. As a result I feel pretty confident to pass comment on it.
Quite simply the butchery apprenticeship standard is transforming the butchery profession – for the better. Age-old butchery skills are being revived. That deep knowledge of the meat supply chain is being re-instilled. The industry asked itself the question, ‘What does it mean to be a butcher today?’, and the apprenticeship answered it.
But don’t take my word for it. Ask the 1000+ apprentices who’ve enrolled since 2018, the family businesses whose futures are now secured, or the retail giants, Morrisons and Sainsburys, who know a good thing when they see it and have hundreds of apprentices on programme.
So, what’s this got to do with bakery, I hear you say?
Because the bakery industry is on the brink of doing the same. We know there’s a market opportunity, but it has yet to take off for some SMEs due to funding obstacles. It will take a concerted joint effort by training providers and SME employers to demand that funding is directed to where it’s needed. Butchery overcame similar issues and I’m confident that the baking industry will do too. And here are 10 good reasons why the bakery apprenticeship is worth fighting for:
1. It attracts 5 times the funding of the previous framework, £9,000 per apprentice
2. Small bakery businesses only contribute £450 at most, and that cost is waived if you have less than 50 employees and apprentices aged under 19
3. Largescale bakers have a dedicated ‘automated baker’ pathway within the apprenticeship
4. It’s not just for youngsters! There are no upper age limits so the bakery apprenticeship can be used to ‘train and certify’ your whole workforce
5. The employer is King! They negotiate the training contract based on what their business needs
6. It delivers apprentices with proven skills – the compulsory end-point assessment ensures apprentices only qualify when they’ve mastered the skills employers need
7. Apprentices are tested by independent industry examiners with years of experience – making success at end-point assessment a real confidence booster for the apprentice
8. 20% off the job need not be a barrier – training providers are now adept at managing this requirement creatively so as not to impact the smooth running of a business
9. It’s meeting the needs of all types of bakery businesses today, with half the current apprentices being supermarket bakers and half being craft or automated bakers
10 All successful apprentices receive both an apprenticeship certificate PLUS a L2 Bakery Diploma
In short, bakery employers and training providers, it’s time to make it happen!
Find out more about the bakery apprenticeship and end-point assessment or call us on 0113 3970 395 to discuss your business needs