FDF supports the Government's aim to increase the quality and quantity of apprenticeships. Access to skills is a growing problem for food and drink manufacturers and many companies expect the situation to become more difficult as we foresee a tighter labour market with an ageing population coupled with a lower net migration. 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. 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.

In April 2019, the Government implemented some reforms to the Levy to create more flexibility to employers. This included increasing the allowance for Levy paying employers to transfer to other employers from 10% to 25%. They also reduced the amount that smaller employers have to co-invest (with government) in training and assessment for new apprenticeships from 10% to 5%.

An employer guide on how the Apprenticeship Levy works »

'Fire It Up' website: a tool for employers and apprentices to learn more »

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

New Apprenticeship Standards

Since 2013, food and drink employers have been working together with the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink to develop relevant Apprenticeship standards for our sector. Learn more about the standards developed by and available for the food and drink industry.

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; and
  • high quality training providers that have been hand-picked to meet your needs.

Last reviewed: 03 Dec 2019