Trailblazer Apprenticeships

The latest Government Reform of apprenticeships in 2012 has seen the food and drink industry actively involved in developing a range of new programmes designed to offer rewarding career opportunities for young people and development opportunities for people already working in the sector. 

At present various new apprenticeship standards have been developed, or are in development, covering roles which provide an entry to the sector right through to technical degree level programmes. Full details of published standards can be found at and The National Skills Academy for Food & Drink is working with employers on the creation of the new programmes.

Programmes that are ready for delivery:

  • Butchery (Level 2)
  • Dairy Technologist (Level 5)
    For those working or starting work in a dairy business as a dairy technologist
  • Food and Drink Maintenance (Level 3)
    For those working or starting work in engineering, maintenance roles in food & drink businesses
  • Food & Drink Process Operator (Level 2)
    For those working or starting work in production roles in the food & drink sector
  • Food & Drink Advanced Operator (Level 3)
    For those working or starting work in the sector in skilled or technical operator roles in the food & drink sector
  • Food Technologist (Level 3)
    For those working in or starting work in quality, food science and product or process development roles within the food & drink sector

Programmes in development for 2017

  • Bakery (Level 2)
    For those working or starting work as bakers within craft, in-store or automated environments
  • Advanced Bakery (Level 3)
    For those working or starting in the bakery sector who wish to acquire technical bakery skills
  • Advanced Butcher
  • Fishmonger (Level 2)
    For those working as or starting work as fishmongers
  • Food Industry Technical Professional Degree Apprenticeship (Level 6)
    For those working or starting in food technology roles training to be quality or technical managers
  • Supply Chain Professional (Level 3)
    For those wishing to develop or start a career as a supply chain professional within the sector

More programmes are in development the idea being to provide people with entry routes into the sector and real opportunities for career progression. 

Introducing new Industry Approved Apprenticeship Programmes (IAAPs)

With over 4,000 training providers in the UK offering a range of training programmes, apprenticeships and qualifi cations, fi nding the right ones can be a tough decision. Government changes have meant that the landscape of training is changing – the introduction of new style apprenticeships, the apprenticeship levy and the digital voucher system means that the market for delivering apprenticeship training is truly wide open. Providers are lining up to work with food & drink employers but often businesses don’t have the time to check whether each provider is good and whether their training programmes will deliver the necessary knowledge & skills to get their apprentice ready for the end assessment.

The National Skills Academy for Food & Drink has brought together companies from across the spectrum of the diverse food and drink industry to embark on the most ambitious development programme; recognising that the best organisations to design programmes are the very food
and drink businesses that will use them.

Over 120 food businesses have stepped up not just to lead the development of the standards and assessments for new apprenticeships but to develop new delivery programmes that will ensure that the ethos and requirements articulated in the standards are actually delivered. But more than just designing the programmes they have also identified great providers who have the capability to deliver
them – doing the hard work so you won’t have to.

The results are our Industry Approved Apprenticeship Programmes (IAAPs) – every stage of design has been led by the industry. 

  • Each ‘programme’ has been designed by the industry leadership groups who have also developed the apprenticeship standard; end to end these programmes have been developed by food and drink businesses for food and drink businesses
  • Each one contains an approved qualification - either a brand new qualification specifically designed for the apprenticeship or a degree put through a rigorous assessment process to ensure it is right for food industry
    • Our new qualifications have been developed in conjunction with leading awarding organisations; City and Guilds for engineering and OAL for food industry occupations
    • Whether a new qualifi cation or a degree, these equip the learner with the knowledge and skills required both to do their job and to be prepared for their end assessment
  • Many IAAPs are supported by training materials designed and signed off by industry to support the learning – all have conditions for delivery specified by the employers to ensure that the highest level of quality learning takes place
  • IAAPs are only available from providers who have demonstrated delivery capability; they are financially secure, understand the food and drink industry, have references and can meet the stringent requirements set out by the industry leadership group for delivering each new programme
    • More than this they have committed to continuous improvement based on feedback from customers and learners