There are over 2000 breweries in the UK and that number is growing. This combined with the growth in beer varieties makes it an exciting time to be a brewing apprentice.
Brewing is a diverse industry. Brewers may work in anything from a small micro-brewery up to a large-scale brewery with international brewing plants.
The apprentice brewer could be responsible for a specific stage of the brewing process, for example fermentation or the brewhouse. Or they may be involved in the whole process from raw ingredients to finished beer.
The brewing apprenticeship Standard develops the skills needed for apprentice brewers to produce and dispatch high quality beer safely and efficiently.
The brewing apprenticeship is set at Level 4 and typically takes 18-24 months to complete. Although most of the brewing apprentices time is spent learning in the workplace, 20% of the apprenticeship is ‘off the job’ training, so all the requirements of the brewer standard are met.
Firstly, all the new apprenticeship standards, including the brewer apprenticeship standard, are developed ‘by employers for employers.’ Nobody knows better what is needed in a job role than the employers themselves. Secondly, one of the biggest changes is that apprentices now don’t automatically qualify after ‘serving their time’. They need to prove their new skills at ‘end-point assessment’ or EPA. EPA is the name given to a series of tests that happen towards the end of an apprenticeship. Apprentices must succeed at end-point assessment to achieve their apprenticeship.
The Brewer apprenticeship is a band 12 apprenticeship, carrying a maximum funding rate of £9,000. Funding for the brewer apprenticeship is either via co-investment with government or the Apprentice Levy.
Large food manufacturers (with a wage bill over £3million pa) fund their apprenticeships through the levy. The levy is collected by HMRC at a rate of 0.5% of a business’s monthly wage bill.
Smaller employers (with an annual wage bill below £3m) fund their apprenticeships through co-investment with government, though now they need only contribute 5% of their apprentices training costs. For employers with less than 50 employees that 5% is waived if their apprentice is between 16-18 years or between 19-24 and has a local authority education, health and care plan or has been in the care of a local authority.
All employers can now negotiate with their approved training provider, to get good value brewing industry training that suits their business. They are also free to choose their own end-point assessment organisation.
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