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FTC urges Skills Minister not to 'overlook' food apprenticeships.

The Food and Drink Training & Education Council (FTC) has teamed up with the Provision Trade Federation (PTF) to write a letter to the Skills Minister, advocating for the inclusion of food apprenticeships in the upcoming round of Standard reviews.

The letter, directed to Luke Hall MP, Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships, and Higher Education, stated:

"We also approved funding uplifts for almost 80 standards last year at an average of 35%, in key sectors such as social care, transport and logistics and engineering, helping to maintain quality as costs of delivery increased".

“We were very disappointed that although he highlighted the department review of over 100 standards, not one of them was a Food and Drink (craft and technical) apprenticeship and would like to ask you, why have these apprenticeships been overlooked so far?”

Luke Hall MP, Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education.

| Picture: UK Parliament.

The letter emphasized that the food and drink industry in the UK stands as the "country's largest manufacturing sector by turnover, valued at £104.4 billion. It stressed the importance for MPs to be aware of the skills shortages within the industry, noting that food production was deemed one of the most vital sectors during the pandemic.

Within the letter it was also noted that “since the UK left the EU the shortages of staff and skills has meant that companies have raised salaries significantly above inflation to recruit and retain staff”, highlighting subjects such as butchery, bakery and fishmongering as the areas in which the staff shortages have been most “keenly felt”.

As representatives of the industry, Food and Drink Training Education Council (FTC) will aim to “support food and drink employers and their employees in being able to select the right training providers for apprenticeships or qualifications.”

Christine Walsh CEO, Food and Drink Education Council

| Picture: Food Management Today.

“We urge you to investigate the matter with the IfATE [Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education] as a priority. It would be of benefit to the industry if the food and drink apprenticeships were added to the next round of Standard reviews.”

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