Food Technologist Apprenticeship
Food technologists are found in all aspects of the supply chain – growers, food manufacturers, and retailers. They may work in laboratories, development kitchens or in food factories. Their role is to ensure food products are safe to eat and produced to a consistently high standard.
Food technologists will have extensive food science knowledge, as well as a comprehensive understanding of Food Safety, Health and Safety and HAACP regulations and legislation.
Typical responsibilities include reviewing and maintaining technical procedures, conducting sensory analysis, evaluating and costing products, carrying out audits, and producing management data.
On completion of the programme food technologist apprentices may progress in future to being a technical manager, a quality, process development or new product development specialist, or an auditor.
The food technologist apprenticeship is set at level 3 and typically takes 24-30 months to complete, with end-point assessment (EPA) taking place in the final 12 weeks of the programme.
Achievement of a Level 3 Diploma in Food Technology is a pre-requisite to taking the end-point assessment.
Why are the new apprenticeship standards better than previous apprenticeships?
Firstly, all apprenticeship standards, including the food technologist apprenticeship, are now 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. End-point assessment 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.
Food Technologist Apprenticeship Funding
The food technologist apprenticeship is in band 21, meaning it carries a maximum funding rate of £18,000. Funding for apprenticeships is either via co-investment with government or the apprentice levy.
Large employers (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. Employers only contribute 5% of their apprentices training and end-point assessment costs, with government funding the remaining 95%, up to the funding band maximum. 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 are now able to negotiate with their approved training provider to get good value training that suits their business. They are also free to choose their preferred end-point assessment organisation.
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