Food and Drink Engineering Maintenance Launch - Wales

Thursday, February 08, 2018 - 10:57

Wales has a recognised shortage of skills in food and drink and this shortage is at Technician level as well as at Degree level. The purpose of this new Technical Apprenticeship framework is to provide the industry with STEM based  apprenticeships for technician level roles. The Level 3 Food Engineering Maintenance apprenticeship will be one of a series of apprenticeships and has been developed to address engineering skills shortages within the food & drink sector. Apprentices will learn about both core mechanical and multi-skilled engineering within a food and drink context.

Who is this programme aimed at?

This apprenticeship programme is aimed at those working or starting to work in engineering maintenance roles in food and drink businesses.

Example job roles

Engineering Technicians and Maintenance Engineers

What capability will the programme develop?

The apprentice will plan and prepare for the maintenance of engineered systems in the food and drink industry and
perform both electrical and mechanical first line routine maintenance including removing, inspecting, fault finding,
cleaning, repairing or replacing mechanical and electrical components.

They will be able to produce a range of replacement components using manual and machine processes and weld stainless steel and other materials used in food production equipment. They also learn to apply mathematics techniques to solve engineering problems and to maintain fluid power systems.

They are an integral part of improvement activity, fault finding and problem solving and are responsive to change and industry /customer demands, have strong communication skills and take responsibility for their own development and that of others.

They operate as an ambassador for their shift, site, company and industry. They learn to operate safely, take ownership and pride in their work and to work as part of a team, building good relationships with others and acting with integrity and respect.

Additional skills are developed according to whether apprentices are studying a multi-skilled route or a mechanical route.

  • Multi-skilled Food and Drink Maintenance Engineering Apprentices develop the skills to apply best practice techniques including condition monitoring and proactive maintenance. They will be able to commission and perform maintenance of instrumentation/process control systems and perform maintenance of programmable control systems.
  • Mechanically oriented apprentices will be able to monitor mechanical equipment, repair and produce a wider range of components and produce more complex welding joints using a wider range of processes.

Why is this a great apprenticeship programme?

This is a unique programme integrating both core engineering within a food and drink context to develop the kind of maintenance engineer that has not been available previously. Engineers develop both electrical and mechanical knowledge and skills within a food and drink environment.

Skills issue faced

Major skills shortage in engineering is forecast to increase due to increased automation and an ageing workforce demographic.