NSAFD Apprenticeship Strategy Meeting 2019

Tuesday, November 12, 2019 - 09:54

On the 5th November we held our bi-annual Apprenticeship Strategy Meeting at Eastwood Hall in Nottingham with 22 Food & Drink businesses in attendance.

A busy agenda saw us start by delivering an update on the skills landscape, including details of the Engineering & Manufacturing routeway review, before delving into a group exercise based around potential future plans for apprenticeships in the Food & Drink Industry.

We had a number of guest speakers with us on the day, each covering a different topic relating to early careers and apprenticeships. Sharon Blyfield from Coca Cola European Partners presented on the success that CCEP have had with the Early Careers Strategy, the tools they have used in collaboration with the NSAFD, and how they plan to progress this and give their young employees greater control of what those early careers pathways will look like in the future.

Cian Short from Bakkavor delivered a fascinating presentation which demonstrated his journey with the apprenticeship levy and how this was managed, along with a number of resources that Bakkavor developed to enable a simple and clear toolkit for all sites to use and follow. We were also lucky enough to be joined by John Myers from the Education and Skills Funding Agency, who alongside Lauren Cunningham from Tulip presented the group with some information around T Levels, and how these will begin to be integrated over the coming years. There is likely to be a group coming together hosted by the NSAFD to discuss T Levels in the not too distant future, so watch this space!

I found the meeting incredibly useful to see how other businesses are growing both their Apprenticeship and  Early Careers strategy. I found the case studies incredibly useful in terms of application and business engagement. The discussion sessions were invaluable to share insights and best practice as well as creating a network to tap into. The team provide useful updates and the meeting environment focusses on collaborative support and improvement initiatives. It was a really useful session.

Donna Hannah, Hovis

We had a vibrant and engaging presentation from Zoe Haynes at Muller around the work she has done to ensure good quality standards within Muller apprenticeships programmes, using tools developed by industry with the NSAFD. As we move forward with the levy, having got to grips with implementation and governance, there is a greater emphasis being placed on quality of programmes, so we expect to see more work on quality management over the coming months. The NSAFD will be available and happy to support with quality management implementation when required by members of the Employer Services Network. 

We closed the day on the 5th with updates on the Occupational Assessment Tool which has undergone a series of updates over the summer, and continues to be used widely within industry. Finally, we had a funding update from our Provider Manager Phil Selwood which focussed on OFSTED and some clarifications from within the funding rules.

As ever, we had a fantastic response to this meeting and it was great to see so many businesses networking and forming industry links to work together in the future. We plan for our next meeting to be held at the same location in Eastwood Hall, Nottingham, with a provisional date of May 7th 2020.