14/11/2019 Posted in: General news
28/10/2019 Posted in: Blogs
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 or call us on 0113 3970 395 to discuss your business needs
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.
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.
6/9/2019 Posted in: General news
Respected trade title, Food Manufacture, recently approached our CEO on the subject of how apprenticeships can help attract people into the industry. We know the new apprenticeship standards, especially the food and drink processes operator apprenticeship could be game-changers for the industry. But is the message getting across? Read the full article here
15/5/2019 Posted in: General news
Owen Smith learning lamb butchery skills at MEAT Ipswich butchery school.
Owen Smith (18) has become our 100th successful EPA candidate. Owen trained for his butchery apprenticeship with MEAT Ipswich, where his trainer, Stuart Davis, said of him,
"Owen is a pleasant and very well mannered young man. Owen has gained confidence throughout his apprenticeship and has applied his learning to practical situations at his place of work, enabling him to adapt certain practices to suit the needs of the company. "
Originally studying for ‘A’ levels, Owen realised the academic route wasn’t for him, so applied for an apprentice butcher job with Ansell and Sons in Maldon, Essex. Though at first he struggled working a 39 hour week he enjoyed the butchery training, especially as he was being paid to learn! Since completing his butchery apprenticeship and end-point assessment he has become an integral part of the team. He loves interacting with people and feels he learns something new every day.
Now more than ever apprenticeships are a great way of bringing new people into your team, or developing the skills of existing staff. On 1st April employer contributions were halved from 10% to 5%. This means the Government funds 95% of the apprenticeship training costs. In some circumstances 100% of training costs are covered. Talk to one of our friendly team to find out more.
15/3/2019 Posted in: General news
FDQ reach end-point assessment milestone
25/2/2019 Posted in: General news
The achievements of apprentices, their training providers and employers were celebrated on the 21st February at the IoM annual prize-giving, at The Painters Hall, London.