Food & Drink Process Operators work in one of the largest, most dynamic and fastest growing sectors of industry. Every day, producers, manufacturers and retailers make and sell millions of innovative food products to consumers in the UK and around the world. This includes drinks, cakes, biscuits, ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook food, sandwiches, wraps, fresh fruit and salads. It is imperative that Process Operators in the industry have the skills and knowledge to ensure our food products, which millions of people consume every day, are safe. Process Operators work in the manufacturing sector of the food and drink industry. They may be employed in a company that specialises one type of product, e.g. ready meals, soft drinks or confectionery, or in a company that makes a wide range of different products. Process Operators typically work on production lines within food manufacturing plants. The industry uses excellent manufacturing processes and highly automated equipment and technology to ensure it remains competitive, and produces food and drink products to strict food safety and quality standards.
On completion of this programme, Process Operators will be able to carry out production operations using a range of equipment, and will be able to carry out basic fault finding on the equipment they work with. They will be able to handle food products safely and hygienically. They will be able to follow Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to maintain quality and to ensure products meet customer requirements.
Following completion of the programme, individuals will have developed an understanding of continuous improvement processes used in the industry, and will know when it is appropriate to escalate technical issues to a specialist or more senior member of staff. They will understand food safety and its importance to the industry. They will be effective communicators who are able to work well with others. They will have a solid grounding in most aspects of food production and manufacturing and have a good level of product knowledge.