NCFM attends the South Holland Business Awards 2017

On 23rd November 2017, staff at the National Centre for Food Manufacturing (NCFM) were delighted to attend the annual South Holland Business Awards.

The South Holland Business Awards are a celebration, recognition and reward of all outstanding businesses situated in South Holland, Lincolnshire.

Since 2013, the event have grown significantly, gaining huge interest from businesses throughout the region.




Higher Apprenticeship success with Tulip Ltd

On November 1st our industry partner, Tulip, one of Britain’s leading food producing companies, held their first ever Apprenticeship Awards in Birmingham.

Image credit: Tulip

Image credit: Tulip

Annie Hughes (pictured) is undertaking a Higher Apprenticeship at the National Centre for Food Manufacturing, and apprentice at Tulip and won two awards:

  • Most Consistent Apprentice 2017;
  • Highly Commended Certificate in the Higher Apprentice of the 2017 award category

Congratulations Annie- we wish you every success in your career!

You can find out more about our Apprenticeships online.

MP visit celebrates Degree Apprenticeships – the future of food manufacturing

The UK’s first ever Degree Apprenticeships specifically designed for the food industry have officially launched, with one of the first cohorts of apprentices being welcomed to their studies by Government minister, the Rt Hon John Hayes CBE MP.
Hosted by the University of Lincoln’s National Centre for Food Manufacture in Holbeach, South Lincolnshire, the Food Industry Technical Professional Degree Apprenticeship has been developed by food industry employers in partnership with universities. It aims to help address an acute shortage of Technical, Quality and New Product Development Managers in the sector, and to attract young people into the industry by providing appealing degree-level career opportunities as food technologists.
Students at NCFM

Students at NCFM

Beginning their studies this month, 40 students from a variety of food businesses across the UK have commenced their Higher and Degree Apprenticeships at NCFM, with most funded through the new apprenticeship levy.

The new Degree Apprenticeships are designed to deliver the higher level skills needed by the food manufacturing sector. NCFM secured a share of the Government’s £4.5 million Degree Apprenticeship Development Fund to deliver the new apprenticeships in collaboration with Sheffield Hallam University and the National Skills Academy Food & Drink (NSAFD).

To recognise the landmark moment for the industry, the Rt Hon John Hayes CBE MP visited the Holbeach campus on Friday 15th September to congratulate and welcome the new cohort as they embark on their latest venture. Mr Hayes is the MP for South Holland and The Deepings and the Minister of State at the Department for Transport. He said: “Having championed apprenticeships in Government and before, I am delighted with the latest developments at the Holbeach campus, which I have known and supported since its beginning. The students and those from whom they are learning have my warm best wishes.”

Along with the Food Industry Technical Professional Degree Apprenticeship, NCFM is delivering Degree Apprenticeships for Food Industry Managers via the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship, which will soon be followed by Degree Apprenticeships for Food Engineers and Operations Managers.

Professor Val Braybrooks MBE, Dean of the University of Lincoln’s National Centre for Food Manufacturing, said: “The food and drink industry represents the single largest manufacturing sector in the UK. The sector is highly innovative and is already adopting many advanced technologies, which require ready access to higher level skills – new Degree Apprenticeships are specifically designed to address this need.

“We are delighted to welcome our first cohort of apprentices onto the Food Industry Technical Professional Degree Apprenticeship, which offers high quality workplace training complemented by part-time, flexible degree level study. We are pleased that this course attracts young talent as well as rewarding and enhancing the skills of existing employees. For everyone here at NCFM, and our employers, it represents an exciting opportunity to support the next generation of food industry leaders.”

Sponsoring employers include ABP Food Group, Bakkavor, Moy Park, Jakeman’s Confectioners, OAL, Tulip Ltd and 2 Sisters Food Group.

Cian Short, Group Apprentice Manager for Bakkavor, said: ‘‘At Bakkavor we want our apprentices to have the best access to high quality provision and the right courses. Having Higher and Degree Apprenticeships specifically developed for the sector means that from day one our apprentices receive learning and development which is just right for them. As a group, we are sponsoring a number of our employees on apprenticeships from Level 2 to 6 and are pleased to be able to support the development of Degrees Apprenticeships including the proposed Level 7.”

Samantha Gornall, Apprenticeship and Training Coordinator from Tulip Ltd, said: “Degree and Higher Apprenticeships are one of the ways we can bring in and nurture talent in our business and as a company we are delighted to have helped facilitate this important development.”

Marsha Myles, Apprenticeship Manager from Moy Park, said: “At Moy Park we have been impressed with the quality of applicants we have received for the Degree Apprenticeship. It is important for Moy Park and the industry to invest in these skills to ensure continued growth of the food sector and to work hand in hand with universities to develop new young talent of the future.”

Janette Graham, Apprenticeship Manager at 2 Sisters Food Group who led the development of the Food Industry Technical Professional Degree Apprenticeship with fellow employers, said: “The Technical Professional Degree Apprenticeship exemplifies what can be achieved when employers and universities are able to work together in this way. Its launch is a major step forward for the industry and I am pleased that employers, who have invested so much of their time in developing these new apprenticeships, and their apprentices will now be able to benefit.”

Employers and students wishing to find out more about Degree Apprenticeships are invited to contact or phone on 01406 493000, or contact the National Skills Academy Food and Drink via

Student success in Food Manufacture, Quality Assurance and Technical Management

Harry Williams

(Photo credit: Campden BRI)

All text quoted from Campden BRI.

“While thousands of school leavers prepare for their first term at university and face a lifetime of student debt, Harry Williams has graduated debt free by choosing an employer-sponsored degree.

Harry, who lives in Evesham, graduated this week with a first class honours degree in Food Manufacture, Quality Assurance and Technical Management. Harry was sponsored by his employer – local food and drink research company Campden BRI – who funded two-thirds of his university fees.

His excellent performance also landed him two awards. The Lindum Group Award was for best overall performance on the BSc Hons in Food Manufacture, while the Tulip Award was in recognition of ‘an exemplar work-based project’ as part of the degree.

Harry studied part time for his degree over five years via the National Centre for Food Manufacturing at the University of Lincoln, while juggling a full-time job at Campden BRI and refereeing rugby matches for the Gloucester and District Referees Society.

Harry commented on his achievement, “Sometimes you have to be a bit ‘unconventional’. If you’re prepared to get stuck in and put your hand up, opportunities will present themselves – take them and you might just surprise yourself. I had no intention of going to university when I left school at 18, I just wanted to work and gain some experience. I have been amazed at the many opportunities I’ve been given since joining Campden BRI nearly seven years ago. I have travelled the world, gained valuable industry experience and come out of it with a degree. For me, the traditional route to university was not the best option.”

Steven Walker, Director General of Campden BRI said, “We are very proud of Harry’s achievements. We want every member of staff to fulfil their potential and are passionate about training and development. Over the last five years we have sponsored 15 staff to undertake formal qualifications at college or university, and we currently have two staff members working towards PhDs alongside their day job. Many others get supported through our own training Academy.”

After finishing his A Levels at Evesham High (now The DeMontfort School) Harry joined a local vegetable seed breeding company as a customer services and commercial plant breeding trials assistant. He then joined Campden BRI as process validation technologist and provided on-site technical support to food manufacturers.

In his current role as Campden BRI’s Member Interest Group Manager, Harry is responsible for planning and delivering scientific and technical content for the company’s industrial member meetings. Harry was able to use his connections with food companies to inject a real-life food industry perspective into his final year project on ‘horizon scanning’, which helps industry keep up-to-date with emerging risks, threats and opportunities.”

Y0u can also find out more about Campden BRI.



NCFM to exhibit at UK Produce Industry Fair 2017

The National Centre for Food Manufacturing (NCFM), University of Lincoln, UK, will be exhibiting at this year’s UK Produce Industry Fair on Wednesday 13th and Thursday 14th September at the Peterborough Arena in the East of England Showground.

The annual fair aims to showcase all aspects of the industry from the produce itself to all associated products, machinery and services with a focus on cost savings and efficiency. Exhibiting alongside our Centre will be the Lincoln Institute of Agri-Food Technology (LIAT), with the Director of LIAT, Prof Simon Pearson delivering a talk on Agri-Food and research being undertaken by the Institute.

We would be delighted to chat to our industry peers and anyone wishing to find out more about opportunities available at NCFM; you can find us at stands 125-126 – come and say hello!

Find out more about NCFM.