UK’s first degree apprenticeships to support higher level skills for food manufacturing

New degree apprenticeships will help to deliver higher level skills needed by the food manufacturing sector, thanks to a major funding award from the Government.


The University of Lincoln’s National Centre for Food Manufacturing (NCFM) will lead the pioneering project to deliver the country’s first degree apprenticeships in Food Engineering, Technical Management and Operations Management as part of a national programme to develop new opportunities for apprentices.

NCFM, based in Holbeach in south Lincolnshire, has secured a share of the £4.5 million Degree Apprenticeship Development Fund to deliver the new courses in collaboration with Sheffield Hallam University and the National Skills Academy Food & Drink (NSAFD). Together, the organisations have formed the Degree Apprenticeship Food Industry Partnership.

Professor Val Braybrooks MBE, Dean of the University of Lincoln’s National Centre for Food Manufacturing, is the Project Leader for the Degree Apprenticeship Food Industry Partnership. She said: ‘‘The Government’s drive to grow degree apprenticeships has been well received by employers and universities. Degree apprenticeships offer an exciting new way to deliver the higher level skills needed by the industry, with employers and universities working together to develop high quality workplace training complemented by part-time, flexible degree level study, which will both attract young talent and reward and enhance the skills of existing employees.”

Funding for the new degree apprenticeships was announced today (Thursday 10th November 2016) by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). This first phase of the degree apprenticeships initiative will see the development of 18 projects involving higher education providers and employers working in partnership to develop apprenticeships ready for apprentices starting in September 2017.

Designed by employers, universities and professional bodies, degree apprenticeships will deliver high-tech and high level skills and offer an alternative to the traditional degree course. Bringing together university study with paid work, degree apprentices spend part of their time at university and part with their employer.

The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) and many leading food businesses including Nestle, 2 Sisters Food Group, Princes and Moy Park, are directly supporting the development of these three degree apprenticeship programmes, which are being developed to tackle the higher level skills gap in food engineering, technical management and operations management.

Employers and students wishing to find out more about the new degree apprenticeships are invited to contact, or phone the Degree Apprenticeship Food Industry Partnership on 01406 493000.

Read the full article here

Food Manufacturing 2030 Conference – Agenda

Food manufacturing 2030 agenda 

We cannot wait to welcome all our guests for our Food Manufacturing 2030 Conference tomorrow (October 13, 2016).

Please see below an agenda for the day.

Agenda Food Manufacturing 2030 Conference 131016 v1.3 copy


We will start promptly at 9am after a networking breakfast, with University of Lincoln’s Val Braybrooks and OAL’s Harry Norman.

Simon Lushey from Marks and Spencer will give a talk on the importance of innovation to food retailing, leading into ‘New robot technologies for food manufacturing’ by Andrea Paoli at the University of Lincoln.

After a coffee break at 10.30am, we will look at ‘The Future of Chilled Food Manufacturing’ by technical specialist, Ann Savage. We answer ‘How will consumer trends shape food manufacturing?’ with a talk from Steve Osborn from Aurora Ceres Partnership.

The day will end with demonstrations, discussions and tours of the Holbeach National Centre for Food Manufacturing facility.

Feel free to save a PDF version for your use. We look forward to seeing you there.

Agenda Food Manufacturing 2030 Conference

NCFM to showcase pioneering technologies set to transform future of food manufacturing

A pioneering new system which is designed to dramatically improve food packaging processes will go on show to industry representatives and food manufacturers of the future this month.


As part of a two-day event at the University of Lincoln’s National Centre for Food Manufacturing in Holbeach, South Lincolnshire, the PickNPack system will be demonstrated along with a host of other new industry technologies.

PickNPack is an innovative packaging concept which offers the food industry the benefits of automation – cost reduction, greater hygiene and more efficient use of resources – combined with the unique ability to adapt to the product and batch size at hand. PickNPack is designed to give the European food industry a competitive advantage in the rapidly changing marketplace, where customers demand more quality, more choice and more safety for lower prices.

It will go on show at the University of Lincoln’s National Centre for Food Manufacturing (NCFM) as part of a tour showcasing the results of the associated four-year research programme.

The NCFM showcase event will run for two days on 13th and 14th September 2016.

Tuesday 13th September is a dedicated Industry Day for representatives from across the UK food manufacturing sector. It will be organised around a working production line demonstrator, illustrating different aspects of the PickNPack technology.

The industry event offers an opportunity to discover new ideas and solutions, listen to in-depth talks, and learn directly from the engineers involved in the PickNPack project.

On Wednesday 14th September, Lincolnshire school pupils will visit to learn about the industry, and to see and experience its latest technological developments.

This demonstrator will be supported by a range of specialist technology booths, each of which will focus on specific areas of progression, including robotics, instrumentation, wireless communication, and system control.

NCFM April robot

The innovative Automated Processing Robotic Ingredient Loading (APRIL) ‘robotic chef’ system which has been developed by OAL and is housed at the NCFM, will also be shown to visitors. APRIL is a fully automated robotic system that can mix, load and cook ingredients in a manner similar to professional chefs yet on an industrial scale, by using modern cooking and material handling technologies. It is designed to boost production and efficiency, while also improving the quality of food produced.

Further information is available online, where you are also able to book your place.


Digital Technology and the Food Sector

Don’t miss our latest event looking into the role of digital technology and the food sector.Invite1

 Join us on September 15th, 9.30-13.30pm at the National Centre for Food Manufactoring, Holbeach campus where you will get an insight into digital technology and all its forms in relation to the food chain.

We will cover:

  • Why digital data is so important to the food chain
  • How the development of automation has been enabled by digital technology
  • The digital potential for food traceability
  • Understanding markets through digital data

If this is something you’d like to learn more about, book your place today