The Academy cites work done at chocolate maker Thorntons where a structured staff development programme, including the delivery of 17 adult apprentices in Food Manufacturing Excellence has significantly contributed towards over £1million worth of savings from productivity improvements. The 12-month apprenticeship programme introduces shop floor staff and managers to Lean manufacturing techniques.
The Thorntons FME “graduates”
“We’re very proud of all our FME apprentices and we’d like to thank the National Skills Academy for Food & Drink and CQM Training and Consultancy for their support,” said Thorntons Operations Director David Proctor. “A further 30 staff have come forward to express their interest in FME Apprenticeships since hearing about the strong job satisfaction that the first group have enjoyed. We’re pleased to support them – the pay-back from the business perspective has been very tangible in terms of both cost reduction and continuous improvement culture.”
Justine Fosh, Director of the National Skills Academy for Food & Drink, said the Thornton example illustrated the bottom line business value of the wide range of Apprenticeship programmes now available to the food and drink industry.
“Apprenticeships have traditionally been associated with production line engineering but the success demonstrated here with Food Manufacturing Execellence shows how effective Apprenticeships can be in creating real commercial added value in everything from product development and innovation to production line operative skills.”
Research recently issued by the National Audit Office shows adult apprenticeships generate £18 of value to the UK economy for every £1 of taxpayer support (1). Over 25 year-olds have accounted for two-thirds of a 140 per cent increase in apprentices across all sectors in a four year period since 2006/7 according to the NAO data.
The Food and Drink Federation, supported by the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink, has pledged to double the number of apprentices in the industry in England and Scotland to 3,400 by the end of 2012.
The FDF Pledge has been widely supported within the industry. A 19 year-old female meat worker recently became the 2,000th person to be registered as an apprentice in Scotland where over 900 new apprenticeships have been created since April last year. An additional 876 apprentices were registered in England in the same period.
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The National Skills Academy is a single source of training for the food and drink sector.
Our courses and qualifications are delivered by our network of approved training specialists, which include universities, colleges and private institutions.