FDF supports the Government's aim to increase the quality and quantity of apprenticeships. The challenge of an ageing workforce means that our sector will need 140,000 new recruits by 2024. Growing apprenticeship numbers is a key part of the solution for the UK food and drink industry.

Apprenticeship Levy

In August 2015 Government announced its commitment to support 3 million apprenticeships by 2020. As part of this pledge Government announced the introduction of an apprenticeship levy to help fund their ambition. It represents a seismic change in the landscape of skills and for the business and public sector employers it brings both risk and opportunity.

The Apprenticeship Levy came into effect on 6 April 2017 and applies to employers who have a pay bill above £3million. The Apprenticeship Levy is an important opportunity to help the food and drink manufacturing sector grow high quality apprenticeship numbers.

The Government has published an employer guide on how the Apprenticeship Levy will work

The Department for Education has also published a guide on newly updated funding reform to Apprenticeships

For further advice regarding the levy, Members can visit the toolkit here.

Apprenticeship Trailblazers

What are Apprenticeship Trailblazers?

In 2013 the Government launched the Trailblazers initiative whereby apprenticeships are designed by employers to ensure that apprenticeships produce people who are fully competent and who meet clearly defined standards set by employers rather than by training providers.

A range of Trailblazers are underway in the food and drink industry. All are being led by groups of experienced representatives from food and drink businesses with the majority supported by the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink. You can follow the progress of each Trailblazer project here.

What are the benefits to employers in taking on Apprentices?

Apprenticeships are work-based training programmes specifically tailored to meet the skills needs of employers. By FDF working in partnership with the National Skills Academy for food and drink and the National Apprenticeship Service, you can benefit from:

  • reduced administrative burden as you are supported through the process of developing and implementing an apprenticeship programme;
  • optimised levy investment ensuring you have the ability to maximise your investment through the apprenticeship levy on high-quality apprenticeship standards;
  • developing high-quality apprenticeship standards that meet the needs of the food and drink manufacturing sector;
  • high quality training providers that have been hand-picked to meet your needs;
  • central measurement undertaken which will provide us with credibility as we celebrate our success and launch a PR campaign.

Last reviewed: 04 Mar 2019