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Food manufacturing apprentices work in one of the UK’s biggest and most dynamic industries – the food industry.

Every day food manufacturers and retailers make and sell millions of food and drink products, not just in the UK, but around the world.

The employers involved in the design of the food and drink process operator apprenticeships include household names, such as: Nestle, Morrisons and Bakkavor. Between them they’re responsible for making or selling much of the food we eat on a daily basis.

The food and drink process operator apprenticeships are built to develop the skills needed by production line workers to produce our food safely and efficiently.

Having the Level 2 Food and Drink Process Operator and the Level 3  Technical Operator apprenticeships means food manufacturers can offer real career progression for their employees and so keep those newly developed skills within their businesses. Scroll down to see what’s involved in each apprenticeship

The Aim of Food and Drink Process Operator Apprenticeships

apprenticeship standards are developed ‘by employers for employers.’ Nobody knows better what is needed in a job role than the employers themselves.

“Apprentices bring a new energy to the business, a new way of thinking”

Apprenticeship Information

The L2 Food and Drink Process Operator Apprenticeship is designed for food factory production line workers. The apprenticeship provides robust production line training in a competitive and sometimes high-risk industry. Modern food factories are highly automated, food manufacturing apprentices will learn to operate machinery safely and efficiently. A food factory apprentice will work under direct supervision and support the Technical Operator in the set up, changeover and shut down of food production lines.

Working in food manufacturing involves teamwork; this apprenticeship helps develop good communication skills, enabling apprentices to work well with their colleagues.

To support their off the job training employers may choose to enrol their process operator apprentices on the FDQ Level 2 Diploma in Food and Drink Operations. The diploma underpins all the food production line training in the standard. Employers and apprentices can also select an optional unit to tailor the diploma to suit their business.

Level 2 Food and Drink Process Operator

The Level 2 Butchery Apprenticeship Standard made history as the inaugural food apprenticeship in a craft occupation to receive official government endorsement.

Food and Drink Process Operator Apprenticeship Funding

The L2 Food and Drink Process Operator is a Band 8 apprenticeship which has a maximum funding rate of £5000. The L3 Food and Drink Technical Operator is a Band 19 apprenticeship, carrying a maximum funding rate of £16,000. Funding for apprenticeships is either via co-investment with government or the Apprentice Levy.

Large food manufacturers (with a wage bill over £3million pa) fund their apprenticeships through the levy. The levy is collected by HMRC at a rate of 0.5% of a business’s monthly wage bill.

Smaller employers (with an annual wage bill below £3m) fund their apprenticeships through co-investment with government. Employers only contribute 5% of their apprentices training and end-point assessment costs, with government funding the remaining 95%, up to the funding band maximum.  For employers with less than 50 employees that 5% is waived if their apprentice is between 16-18 years  or between 19-24 and has a local authority education, health and care plan or has been in the care of a local authority.

All employers can now negotiate with their approved training provider, to get good value production line training that suits their business. It is also up to the employer to choose their preferred end-point assessment organisation.

Learn more about the apprenticeship funding for butchery bands and maximum £ cap

Apprenticeship Funding

Click the button below to learn more about the government funding for apprenticeships.

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