The National Skills Academy for Food & Drink (NSAFD) has been working with employers, universities and the IFST to develop a degree apprenticeship programme for food technical professionals.
The Degree Apprenticeship is a four-year programme which embeds a BSc (Hons) Food Science and Technology degree alongside a structured work-based training programme. This combination provides an attractive career path for individuals wishing to progress into technical professional roles, including Assistant Food Technical Managers, Quality Managers, Shift Quality Managers, Hygiene Managers, Product Innovation and Development Technologists. Ensuring the safety and quality of food products, by improving existing products and launching new ones that are key to growers, food manufacturers and retailers, is at the core of this Degree Apprenticeship.
Producing a degree apprenticeship programme, as with other apprenticeships, involves writing a two-page standard, which covers the knowledge, skills and behaviours that an individual needs to exhibit at the end of the programme and the development of an end point assessment to test these elements at the end of the programme. The Food Industry Technical Professional Degree Apprenticeship standard is available at the website below.
Janette Graham, Group Technical Learning and Development Manager at 2 Sisters Food Group, chairs the employer group, supported by the NSAFD, which has been working with the National Centre for Food Manufacturing at the University of Lincoln, Nottingham Trent University, Chester University, Reading University, Greenwich University and the IFST to develop the standard and the assessment plan. She says ‘I am delighted to be leading on a development which will underpin the future delivery of food technical apprenticeship degree programmes. We are excited by a programme which will have the rigour of a degree, whilst enabling the employer to directly work with an individual to obtain the skills needed in the workplace.’
The employer group is in the process of completing the assessment plan, which it is hoped will be published in the spring, in time for the wider university sector to offer degree apprenticeships from September 2017.