11/3/2020 Posted in: General news
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.’
14/11/2019 Posted in: General news
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.