General news

April Newsletter image

April Newsletter

1/5/2020 Posted in: General news

This and more in our April newsletter…

 

FDQ given green light to develop COVID-19 compliant EPA for Level 2 Food and Drink Process Operator (FDPO) Apprenticeship

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.’

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.