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James Awarded Highest Butchery Honour at London Awards image

James Awarded Highest Butchery Honour at London Awards

24/2/2020 Posted in: General news

We’re delighted to announce that our Butchery End-point Assessment Manager, James Richardson, has been awarded the title of Institute of Meat accredited Master Butcher (MB.Inst.M) at the IoM’s Annual Awards. He joins an elite club of accredited Master Butchers, of which there are only 50 in the UK. At FDQ we are now lucky to have two of the most experienced and highly regarded butchers in the country managing our end-point assessment service. Kevin Meades (MB.Inst.M), our EPA Accounts Manager, was also awarded Master Butcher status in 2017.

James was selected to receive his award for his wide-ranging knowledge, not only of butchery, but of the meat industry as a whole. James has a lifetime of experience in the  industry, having started out in his Father’s butchers shop and in his Mother’s wholesale meat and abattoir business. As well as earning his stripes as a butcher in several businesses James also holds Institute of Meat qualifications and an HND in Meat Technology and Management.

After a stint working as a Meat Hygiene Inspector and for the Food Standards Agency James decided to pass on his knowledge to the next generation of Butchers, by becoming a Butchery Course Leader at Leeds City College. Here he ran the Butchery Standard Apprenticeship, so he’s now well placed to give FDQ butchery apprentices top tips for their butchery end-point assessment.

James was presented with his award by Keith Fisher (F.Inst.M), Chief Executive of the Institute of Meat, and himself a fourth generation Master Butcher. Commenting on the award, Fisher said,

‘Being granted Institute of Meat accredited Master Butcher status is one of the highest accolades a butcher can achieve. We do not make such awards lightly and in fact only consider applications from the most experienced and skilful butchers.’

On being awarded this title, James said,

‘This is something I’ve worked towards for a long time and I’m very grateful to the Institute of Meat for awarding it to me and I’m incredibly proud to have been considered in the first place.’

From Butchery Apprenticeship to Bakery Apprenticeship image

From Butchery Apprenticeship to Bakery Apprenticeship

28/10/2019 Posted in: Blogs

...Why both are no-brainers for businesses large and small.

I was lucky enough to be part of the dream team that designed the butcher standard – the first food craft apprenticeship to be approved by government. Now I head up the leading end-point assessment organisation for the butchery apprenticeship. As a result I feel pretty confident to pass comment on it.

Quite simply the butchery apprenticeship standard is transforming the butchery profession – for the better. Age-old butchery skills are being revived. That deep knowledge of the meat supply chain is being re-instilled. The industry asked itself the question, ‘What does it mean to be a butcher today?’, and the apprenticeship answered it.

But don’t take my word for it. Ask the 1000+ apprentices who’ve enrolled since 2018, the family businesses whose futures are now secured, or the retail giants, Morrisons and Sainsburys, who know a good thing when they see it and have hundreds of apprentices on programme.

So, what’s this got to do with bakery, I hear you say?

Because the bakery industry is on the brink of doing the same. We know there’s a market opportunity, but it has yet to take off for some SMEs due to funding obstacles. It will take a concerted joint effort by training providers and SME employers to demand that funding is directed to where it’s needed. Butchery overcame similar issues and I’m confident that the baking industry will do too. And here are 10 good reasons why the bakery apprenticeship is worth fighting for:

1.    It attracts 5 times the funding of the previous framework, £9,000 per apprentice

2.    Small bakery businesses only contribute £450 at most, and that cost is waived if you have less than 50 employees and apprentices aged under 19

3.    Largescale bakers have a dedicated ‘automated baker’ pathway within the apprenticeship

4.    It’s not just for youngsters! There are no upper age limits so the bakery apprenticeship can be used to ‘train and certify’ your whole workforce

5.    The employer is King! They negotiate the training contract based on what their business needs

6.    It delivers apprentices with proven skills – the compulsory end-point assessment ensures apprentices only qualify when they’ve mastered the skills employers need

7.    Apprentices are tested by independent industry examiners with years of experience – making success at end-point assessment a real confidence booster for the apprentice

8.    20% off the job need not be a barrier – training providers are now adept at managing this requirement creatively so as not to impact the smooth running of a business

9.    It’s meeting the needs of all types of bakery businesses today, with half the current apprentices being supermarket bakers and half being craft or automated bakers

10  All successful apprentices receive both an apprenticeship certificate PLUS a L2 Bakery Diploma

In short, bakery employers and training providers, it’s time to make it happen!

 

Find out more about the bakery apprenticeship and end-point assessment here or call us on 0113 3970 395 to discuss your business needs

 Bread Maker And Apprentice Making Bread 800X533

Food and Drink Process Operator Apprenticeship boosts PepsiCo’s Apprenticeship Programme image

Food and Drink Process Operator Apprenticeship boosts PepsiCo’s Apprenticeship Programme

11/10/2019 Posted in: General news

Food manufacturing giant and FDQ end-point assessment customer, PepsiCo, are embracing the FDPO apprenticeship to enhance and standardise their training across their Walkers Crisps production sites.

Over fifty apprentices have successfully completed their FDQ end-point assessment (EPA) and PepsiCo now have around 275 apprentices on programmes throughout the UK.

Mandy Reader, Organisational Capability Manager, UK and Ireland, explains how the Food and Drink Process Operator apprenticeship fits into their ‘Grow our Own’ strategy,

“We have a four-stage technical pipeline and our aim is to develop our own technical talent from entry level, General Support Operators. The FDPO apprenticeship enabled us to map our training needs into a nationally accredited qualification. This makes it a much more attractive prospect for potential candidates. They can see that there’s a career path open to them if they work hard. For some it’s the first time they’ve ever achieved a qualification.”

With over 1500 applicants for less than 100 vacancies recently, their approach looks to be working.

End-point assessment a game changer!

Managing a multi-site apprenticeship programme requires significant resource, according to Reader. In her view, key to PepsiCo’s success is the three-way partnership between FDQ, as their EPA partner, PepsiCo, and CQM, their training provider. EPA represents a game changer for everyone, says Reader,

“For business and apprentices, EPA provides independent verification that they have achieved a recognised industry standard, one developed by food manufacturers themselves. For us it’s vitally important to work with a food specialist EPA organisation. With high volumes of apprentices going through end-point assessment, having assessors with solid occupational experience combined with a dedicated EPA Manager is central to the success of the programme.”

The Food and Drink Process Operator Apprenticeship is now firmly established as the entry level production qualification for PepsiCo’s UK businesses. It has resulted in what Reader believes are ‘Gold Standard’ General Operators. And she’s not the only advocate of their apprenticeship programme. PepsiCo won the Food Manufacture Training Award in 2018 and have recently been named as an East Midlands Regional Finalist in the Employer of the Year category of the 2019 National Apprenticeship Awards.

Find out more about the Food and Drink Process Operator apprenticeship and end-point assessment here.

FAB 2019 Finalists image

FAB 2019 Finalists

26/9/2019 Posted in: General news

We’ve just heard that FDQ have been shortlisted as a finalist in the Awarding Organisation of the Year category at the Federation of Awarding Body (FAB) Awards 2019.

We continue to choose FDQ for their high levels of expertise in food industry qualifications.

Martyn Baker

Telford College