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.

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Putting agri-food on the map with the University of Lincoln

The importance of the county of Lincolnshire to the UK’s place in the global food industry will be the focus of an event at the University of Lincoln.

The free public talk is being organised by the University’s National Centre for Food Manufacturing (NCFM), a state-of-the-art hub of food manufacturing technology based at Holbeach in southern Lincolnshire.

The talk, Where does Lincolnshire fit into World Agriculture and Food, takes place between 6pm and 9pm on 30th October 2014 with keynote speaker John Giles, the Divisional Director of Promar International, an agri-food consultancy business, which is part of Genus plc.

The event is jointly organised with the English-Speaking Union, a global educational charity and membership organisation that aims to empower people of different languages and cultures.

Professor Braybrooks said: “We find the global food trade fascinating, and the National Centre for Food Manufacturing’s work reflects the global context of the agri-food sector as we help businesses compete and exploit export opportunities through innovation.

“John’s knowledge of this subject is exemplary and I am sure a public audience will be equally enthralled. We also welcome the opportunity to showcase to the public the important work that the NCFM undertakes.”

Mr Giles’ talk will examine the county’s role in the world agricultural and food sectors, as well as the agri-food sectors in the EU, Africa, Asia and Latin America.

“The issues we face in the agri-food sector are challenging, exciting and complex,” said Mr Giles, who is the Chairman of the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s Food, Drink and Agriculture Group, and a Fellow of the Royal Agricultural Society of England.

“There is a huge amount of attention on agriculture and food at the moment, from governments around the world, from NGOs and from consumers; you only have to open the weekend supplements or switch on the TV to be bombarded with information about how food is being produced and consumed.

“The subject of food is so fundamental to what we do as a society that it’s something we all need to be as well informed about as possible. It’s important that we get an understanding of how demand and supply chains will look in a few years from now, which is what I’ll be discussing at the event.”

Guests arrive at the NCFM in Holbeach from 6pm, with a welcome address at 6.45pm by Steve Roberts from the ESU and Professor Val Braybrooks, Dean of Holbeach and the NCFM. This is followed by Mr Giles’ presentation, questions and discussion, and networking. Delegates will also have the opportunity to view the teaching and research facilities at NCFM.

To register for a place, call Sue Long at the NCFM on 01406 493000 or email

Article created by Cerri Evans, PR Officer, University of Lincoln.