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.

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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

Local Employee Scoops Prestigious National Industry Award


A massive congratulations to our student Rohan Coomber for scooping the prestigious award for the Best Food Industry Skills Meat Student at a recently held ceremony in London.

The annual award was given in recognition of Rohan’s outstanding academic achievement whilst completing her Diploma in Food Industry Skills.

The award was made by the Institute of Meat and Worshipful Company of Butchers.

She works in the Planning Department at Dalehead Foods in Spalding and is undertaking an Advanced Apprenticeship in Food and Drink Manufacturing at our University of Lincoln site in Holbeach.

The award came as a complete surprise to her: “I’ve always been interested in learning skills and have really enjoyed studying for my diploma, however it came as a complete shock when I was told I had won the award.”

Her achievements have seen nothing but praise from her Planning Manager, Darren Blackshaw. He added: “Rohan has been with Dalehead for almost a year and a half now, during this time she has really applied herself to both studying and the job itself.

“When she first joined us Rohan had no PC skills or knowledge of food production, however as her manager I can honestly say that she could probably now run our Planning department without any help from me.”

Rohan was nominated for the award by Sharon Green, Head of Skills and Work Based Learning at the University of Lincoln’s National Centre for Food Manufacturing, who explains; “I was incredibly impressed with the exceptionally high academic standard of Rohan’s work throughout her Diploma in Food Industry Skills, and this combined with her natural ability to understand complex planning tasks really stood her out from the crowd.

“I am delighted that Rohan’s achievements have been recognised with the presentation of this very special award.”


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How apprenticeships can help agri-food

How apprenticeships can help agri-food

Come along to our ‘Apprenticeships: All Change’ event at our Holbeach Campus on March 16th.

This FREE event will highlight the importance of local agri-food businesses investing in apprenticeships within the agri-food sector, in light of the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy.

“Having a strong apprenticeship programme is vital to the future of many businesses in the UK as it can be difficult to find the right talent and skills required.

An apprenticeship programme gives a business the chance to grow an individual and build on their skill set whilst ensuring on-going business operations.”

Brought in by the government, the Apprenticeship Levy will come into effect in April 2017 at the rate of 0.5% of an employer’s pay bill.

The day will look at the opportunities and implications of the new reforms, and how apprenticeships could help assist with particular challenges within the agri-food industry.

You can register for the event HERE

Find out more HERE

Location: National Centre for Food Manufacturing Centre, University of Lincoln, Park Road, Holbeach, Spalding, PE12 7PT
Date: 16th March 2016Time: 9:00am – 1:00pm