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News article

3 February 2012

FDF launches apprenticeship roadshows to increase opportunities in food manufacturing

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With National Apprenticeship Week taking place from 6-10 February 2012, the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) is doing its bit to raise the profile of apprenticeships amongst food manufacturers by rolling out a series of regional roadshows across the country to inform food companies of the benefits apprentices can bring to their businesses.

During 2012 FDF will be working with its key partners - the National Apprenticeship Service and the National Skills Academy for food and drink - to run events across the UK including the West Midlands, the North West and Yorkshire. We will be kicking off our road show during the Food and Drink Expo at the NEC Birmingham on the afternoon of Monday 26 March. These workshops are designed to assist food businesses who want to understand the business benefits of apprenticeships or who are interested in expanding their existing activity.

Speakers will be on hand from the National Apprenticeship Service and the National Skills Academy for food and drink who will give food manufacturers advice on how to get the most from apprenticeships. Representatives from food manufacturers will be sharing their experiences, as well as apprentices themselves who will give the low down on their new careers.

In 2011 FDF launched a pledge to double the number of apprenticeships in the industry in England and Scotland to 3400 by the end of 2012. It has since been working with member companies to make it easier for them to navigate through the process of setting up apprenticeships and arranging training and study. As well as increasing productivity and improving competitiveness, apprentices can also lead to a more motivated workforce.

As part of FDF's careers campaign 'Taste Success - A Future in Food', FDF is also working hard to raise awareness of career opportunities in the food industry amongst young people and promoting the food industry as an exciting industry to be in. For example, we are working with Not Going to University to show young people that you can enter the food industry through a variety of routes – not just by having a degree.

Angela Coleshill, FDF's Director of Competitiveness, said:
“There is certainly appetite for investment in skills, which is why FDF members are taking collective action to help us build a pool of talented apprentices that can be developed and deployed across the industry – building skills for the future.”

“There is still work to be done to communicate to young people the wide variety of exciting roles on offer in the food industry, many of which are highlighted through some inspiring case studies on our website.”

Karen Woodward, Divisional Apprenticeship Director, from the West Midlands National Apprenticeship Service said:
“The National Apprenticeship Service is pleased to be working with FDF and its members to create high quality Apprenticeships within the food manufacturing industry. Apprenticeships are a proven way to develop well-trained staff who are motivated, loyal and will grow with the business.”

Justine Fosh, Director at the National Skills Academy for Food & Drink said:
“The National Skills Academy for Food and Drink is delighted to be supporting the FDF's apprenticeship pledge. In the past apprenticeships have been seen as mainly relevant to engineering roles but this is simply not the case now - there are now apprenticeships for the food sector that cover the whole range of job roles in our industry - from craft baker to continuous improvement manager, meat processor to milling operative.

“As specialists in food industry training, and as part of Improve the organisation that designs apprenticeships for our industry, we can assist any food business interested in apprenticeship activity. We are offering all FDF members, as part of the pledge, a personal visit and free one to one advice session to help them get started or expand their apprenticeship activity.”

Note to Editors:

  1. The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) is the voice of the food and drink manufacturing industry – the UK's largest manufacturing sector.
  2. Register for FDF's apprenticeship roadshow
  3. View case studies of young people undertaking apprenticeships in the food industry
  4. View full details of FDF's Apprenticeship Pledge
  5. View further information about FDF's careers campaign and skills work

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