FDF Apprenticeship Pledge
The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) smashed its pledge to double the number of Apprenticeships available in the food and drink manufacturing sector in England and Scotland by the end of 2012.
From August 2011 to December 2012 the number of Apprenticeships in the sector
rose from 1,711 to 7,535. This quadrupling of Apprenticeship starts highlights the
importance of Apprenticeships as a fantastic way of attracting talent and
upskilling existing employees for the future, as well as bringing many benefits to
businesses including increased productivity, improved competitiveness and a
FDF is now working with the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink (NSA) on
the next phase of the Apprenticeship Pledge and priorities include:
- Encouraging higher level qualifications;
- Raising quality standards; and
- Placing Apprenticeships firmly in the hands of employers
By recruiting new apprentices and upskilling your existing employees, you are
ensuring that your business has the right skills now and in the future.
Why did FDF pledge to double?
FDF pledged to double the number of apprenticeships available in the food and
drink manufacturing sector in England and Scotland by the end of 2012.
We did this because we will need to replace 40% of our current workforce by 2020
due to employees entering retirement or leaving the industry.
Our sector is currently relying on an ageing workforce to support growth and we
must secure a sufficient pipeline of young people that could potentially be
engineers, team leaders or managers for the future.
Food and drink manufacturers across England and Scotland signed up to our pledge
and contributed in any way they could to help us reach our goal. This collective
action has helped us to build a pool of talented apprentices that can be
developed and deployed across the UK food and drink manufacturing industry – building
skills for the future. Apprenticeships are also an important tool to 'grow our
own' as we seek to become less reliant on migrant workers (who represent 20% of
Advice for employers wanting to take on Apprentices
1. Contact the National Skills Academy for food and drink (NSA) on 0845 644 0558
where your enquiry will be recorded including details such as company size;
sub-sector e.g. meat, chilled, confectionery; and how many apprenticeships you
to offer etc.
2. Your enquiry will be forwarded onto a trained NSA skills consultant who will
visit you in person to discuss the options available to you e.g. delivery
in-house or through an external training provider. If your company employs more
250 people, the National Apprenticeship Service will accompany the NSA on a joint visit.
3. Based on an assessment of your business' needs, the NSA will then approach
training providers on your behalf and source the right one for you.
4. Proposals from the best training providers will be collated and sent to you
What are the benefits to employers in taking on Apprentices?
Apprenticeships are Government-backed, work-based training programmes
specifically tailored to meet the skills needs of employers. By FDF working in
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 funding stream ensuring you have access to the maximum available funding enabling you to
upskill your workforce at all ages and levels;
- 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.
- free service to advertise your apprenticeship vacancies through the National Apprenticeship Service website
 The Government fully funds apprenticeships for 16-18 year olds and provides
50% co-funding for 19 years of age and over. For ages 25 and over, the funding
is reduced to 40%. Please note that government funding goes directly to
Last reviewed: 08 May 2013