Apprenticeships are a key part of the FDF’s skills work. The current focus of our work includes requests for short and long-term apprenticeship levy reform report, especially during the critical period of recovery from Covid-19.

  • Extending or removing the 24-month expiry date to levy funds
  • Fund 100% of SME training costs
  • Allow employers to work flexibly with providers on the 20% off-the-job training requirement
  • Commit to a comprehensive consultation on apprenticeships and the levy fund as a step towards creating a more flexible ‘skills levy’.

We aim to improve training provision for our sector through the creation of a national network of providers that works closely with industry that can deliver the diverse and specialist skills needed across all regions of the UK.

The FDF is also working with our members and the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink on the creation of a Food and Drink supply chain transfer fund to maximise the use of levy funds across the sector.

Updates & milestones

National Apprenticeships Awards 2021

Update

The National Apprenticeship Awards 2021 will be open for entries from 5th July to 28th July 2021.  These awards are a great opportunity for recognition of your apprentices and for your business. It’s also a great way to raise the profile of the industry.

There are nine categories to recognise exceptional employers, apprentices and apprenticeships champions.

Employer of the Year categories
•  SME Employer of the Year (for organisations with 1 to 249 employees)
•  Large Employer of the Year (for organisations with 250 to 4,999 employees)
•  Macro Employer of the Year (for organisations with 5,000+ employees)
•  Recruitment Excellence (Selected from Employer of the Year award entries, and awarded to an organisation that has recruited a diverse and high quality apprenticeship workforce).
 
Apprentice of the Year and Apprenticeship Champion categories
•  Intermediate Apprentice of the Year (level 2)   
•  Advanced Apprentice of the Year (level 3)
•  Higher or Degree Apprentice of the Year (level 4 or higher)
•  Rising Star of the Year* (Apprentices that have made impressive progress in their career to date, and have the potential to go even further. Nominations are made by their employer).
• Apprenticeship Champion of the Year (Individuals who go ‘above and beyond’ to champion apprenticeships. Nominations are made by a colleague or contact who recognises an individual’s ‘champion’ credentials).

*The Rising Star category will not include a public vote this year due to the condensed format of the awards.

It is free to enter, entries must be made through the application website.  Hints and tips for applications and information on the awards process will be available on the site late June 2021.

The Awards themselves will take place regionally in October 2021.  The national ceremony will be on Wednesday 1st December.

If you are planning to enter the awards, please send a note to Tanya and let us know.

National Apprenticeship Week Roundtable

Update

For National Apprenticeship Week, the FDF partnered with Grant Thornton UK LLP in hosting a roundtable exploring how large and small businesses can support each other to increase take-up of apprentices in our industry. We had great representation from across the industry and a lively discussion that saw some exciting ideas that we look forward to implementing.

Some of the main themes that emerged from the conversation included

  • facilitating the sharing of good practice between large and small business to maximise transfer of the levy
  • ideas to move past the unpopular terminology of ‘20% off-the-job’
  • and how we can facilitate better connectivity between employers, schools, providers and colleges. 

Read more about the topics discussed

We plan to bring these ideas to our FDF forums over the coming months to develop further and continue to ‘Build the Future’ through apprenticeships.  If you are interested in joining these conversations please get in touch with Mark Corbett.

FDF Apprentice of the Year Award

Update

Do you employ a brilliant apprentice in your food and drink manufacturing company?

Nominate them for the FDF Apprentice of the Year award before 28 February 2021. It’s completely free to enter!

View the full criteria and enter now

Find our more about the FDF Awards

Ministerial response to the joint food chain letter on food and drink apprenticeships

Update

In response to the joint food chain letter sent by the FDF, NFU, BRC, UKHospitality and the NSAFD to the Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson in the summer, FDF’s Director General, Ian Wright, has since received a response from Gillian Keegan MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State of Apprenticeships and Skills.

The letter acknowledges the importance of the sector during the pandemic and highlighted the various incentives and flexibilities that have been implemented by Government.

Reponse from Gillian Keegan MP

Joint Food Chain letter to SoS Gavin Williamson on Food and Drink Apprenticeships

Update

The FDF, together with the National Farmers Union (NFU), UKHospitality, the British Retail Consortium and the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink sent a joint letter to the Education Secretary that outlines some practical changes to apprenticeships that we believe will help businesses maximise the opportunities that are able to offer.

Apprenticeships have a vital role to play in the UK recovery and we are committed to working with industry and government to ensure they work for both people and industry.

Letter Food and Drink Apprenticeships – Maximising Opportunities for Covid Recovery

News

FDF Scotland's response to the Scottish Government's programme for Government 2021-22

“We are delighted to see the Scottish Government’s continued commitment to supporting the recovery and growth of Scotland’s vital food and drink industry. "

Read more

Joint letter: Recruitment crisis in the food and drink sector in Scotland

FDF Scotland with food and drink industry partners wrote a joint letter to the Scottish and UK Governments to highlight the recruitment crisis in the food and drink sector in Scotland.

Read more

Top marks for new food learning zone

A Fife teacher has become the first to score a perfect 100% in a new online training resource for Scotland’s schools and colleges. The digital training platform aims to show teachers the importance of the whole food and drink chain, from farm to fork, linking it to curriculum subjects such as Biology, Geography, Maths, Environmental Science and Health and Food Technology.

Read more

Next Welsh Government must support growth of vital food and drink industry

The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) Cymru and the British Soft Drinks Association (BSDA) have today launched what it sees as the key priorities for the next Welsh Government.

Read more

All news

Receive updates on this topic

Want to keep up to date on this topic?

You can receive email updates on this topic by registering for an FDF account. 

You can edit your preferences so that you receive updates on the topics and the type of information you are interested in. 

Register

Interested in becoming a member?

FDF members have access to a range of benefits to grow, protect and strengthen their business.

Gain an advantage, join FDF today.

 

Check to see if your company is already a member

How we can help your business