The National Skills Academy for food & drink has launched a dedicated web address to keep industry businesses and vocational training stakeholders up to date with progress on new Trailblazer standards for sector apprenticeships in England.
The initiative comes after Government backed the establishment of a brand new Industry Skills Partnership covering the whole of the food and drink manufacturing and processing sector.
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The dedicated link takes visitors directly to latest updates on the employer-led Trailblazer projects developing new industry-agreed standards for apprenticeships in bakery, food science & technology and operations, production & processing.
A new Trailblazer standard set by employers for apprenticeships in Food & Drink Engineering & Maintenance has already been approved by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) ready for implementation this autumn.
Work in developing proposed standards for the remaining Trailblazers, due for implementation in 2016, is expected to be completed by April.
There will then be wide consultation on the Standard to allow all employers, vocational training providers including specialist private providers and colleges, trade bodies and sector stakeholders to provide comment and feedback during an April to May consultation period.
The Trailblazer groups will then review stakeholder feedback before submitting final proposals to BIS in June for BIS agreement.
The National Skills Academy for Food & Drink, which is supporting businesses involved in the Trailblazer projects, said firms wishing to participate in development of the proposed new standards still had time to get involved.
Academy CEO Justine Fosh said: “Interest in setting the new standards for apprenticeships has been high, particularly in the area of Food Science & Technology, but it’s not too late to get involved – simply get in touch.
“Once initial development is complete, businesses and training providers will both have the opportunity to provide consultation feedback prior to the standards being submitted to BIS for final approval.”
The Government’s Trailblazer initiative to create new standards for apprenticeships across all industries follows in the wake of a landmark report from TV’s Dragon’s Den entrepreneur Doug Richards, who called for business-led reform designed to ensure apprentices are totally role-ready on completion of apprenticeship training.