Apprenticeships in the food industry are training on the job in a demanding day-to-day manufacturing environment where the competencies of  staff required are incredibly diverse. This is because producing successful consumer goods is tough at the best of times and with food there is a requirement to be innovative, safe and responsible so that product integrity is delivered with every drink, meal or snack.

The training involved needs to blend innovation, sciences and business delivery and if we get this right, the qualified apprentice is in high demand.

This is why National Centre for Food Manufacturing (NCFM) was ecstatic to see our two apprentices, Oliver Horne and Sophie Bowers being recognised at the South Holland Business Awards Dinner last week.

Oliver was awarded the Apprentice of the Year Award and said,

‘the NCFM apprenticeship has given me the opportunity to know food manufacturing inside out, thinking on your feet in the factory is critical and using science and business understanding has enabled me to deliver some real innovative solutions at NCFM with several companies. As well as learning the Good Manufacturing Practice frameworks, I have helped to develop new technologies for fast heating and cooling and have become proficient in developing challenging technology such as extrusion techniques and this covers all food categories’.

Sophie was highly commended and backed Oliver’s comments with,

‘my NCFM apprenticeship has  helped me to develop new food products while studying for our degrees which we will obtain in the next year, it is a fantastic experience. As well as my ability to apply science with colour and textural analysis of food materials my delivery of shelf life and chemistry projects has transformed my understanding of the food industry. Placing this into the practice of working with British Standards, Assurance Protocols and ISO frameworks has made me understand transparency and compliance from factory and lab through to the consumer. My ability to identify new product opportunities is realised in this exciting environment that has brought science and practice together for me’.

More than 150 business representatives were at the awards on 15th November 2018, for the sixth annual South Holland Business Awards recognising the areas food industry talent.  Opening the evening’s celebrations, running through the categories and announcing the winners, was BBC Radio Lincolnshire presenter, Melvyn Prior.

The National Centre for Food Manufacturing at Holbeach was awarded the Food, Drink and Farming Award on the evening for its work innovating the food manufacturing sector. The award was presented to Professor Val Braybrooks, Dean at NCFM where her team are transforming the Lincolnshire food system to be more productive through innovation and the development of skilled staff.

The food manufacturing industry employs 22% of the Lincolnshire workforce and accounts for over £100 Billion of contribution to the UK’s GDP. The NCFM at Holbeach is recognised as a key player in supporting growth by providing research and teaching provision in this vibrant industry we all consume and enjoy!

Please contact Sharon Green, Lead for Apprenticeships and Business Partnerships at NCFM to find out more about our Food Manufacturing Apprenticeships.

The NCFM team on the night at the awards