NFDT extends partnership with Belfast Met to deliver Food & Drink Apprenticeships

As the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to be felt, the need to build in business resilience by investing in future skills is vital for a healthy economy. So National Food & Drink Training (NFDT), the training arm of trade association Scottish Bakers, is delighted to announce that it is extending its partnership with Belfast Metropolitan College to deliver much needed Food & Drink Apprenticeship Frameworks in Northern Ireland.

With financial support available to employers from the Department for the Economy (DfE) through their Apprenticeship Recovery Package for Northern Ireland, there has never been a more appropriate time to commit to training. The financial support available will channel investment into local businesses to help the apprenticeship system respond to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis by supporting skills development.

With the hospitality and food service sectors hit so badly at this time, developing craft and supervisory skills in bakery, food manufacture, food production and its supply chain is crucial to the future success of the sector in the long term.

Apprentice Return Scheme

The total amount payable under the scheme will be a maximum of £3,700 per apprentice, distribution as follows:

  • Return - £500 per returned furloughed apprentice payable for the first full month of paid apprenticeship from 1 November 2020
  • Retain – maximum of £2,000 available: £500 per month for up to 4 months of paid apprenticeship between 1 December 2020 and 31 March 2021
  • Result - £1,200 for successful full framework achievement of a returned furloughed apprentice

Recruitment of New Apprenticeships

This incentive is available to all employers to support the recruitment of new apprentices. As an employer, you will be eligible for up to £3,000 for each new apprenticeship opportunity created from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021. This bonus will apply to all new apprenticeship opportunities and includes apprentices who have been made redundant:

  • Payment 1 - £2,000 after 90 days retention following start* of new apprenticeship
  • Payment 2 - £1,000 after 200 days retention following start* of a new paid apprenticeship

For full details visit the NI Business Info website.

NFDT delivers three frameworks suitable for Northern Ireland's Food and drinks sector.

Each Framework consists of a core pathway and essential skills element and both must be achieved, in order for the Apprenticeship to be completed. Pathways we support in Northern Ireland are:

  • Baking Industry Skills (Level 2) - This qualification is designed for learners who wish to develop occupational skills and knowledge in the baking industry.
  • Food Industry Skills (Level 2 & 3) - This qualification is designed for learners who wish to develop occupational skills and knowledge within manufacturing/production sites of the Food & Drink sector. The higher level is designed for those looking to progress into a supervisor/manager role and aids skill development in that role.
  • Food Manufacturing Excellence (Level 2 & 3) - Food Manufacturing Excellence (FME) offers those working in food manufacturing or the supply chain environment, the ability to implement a sustainable, continuous improvement programme for the workplace.

Essential skills development in Literacy and Numeracy form an integral part of the Frameworks and will be completed in conjunction with each pathway.

NFDT's Training and Quality Manager Scott Anderson said, "We work with some of Northern Ireland's biggest and most successful bakery businesses, but we also have widespread experience in Scotland and England of working with leading food and Drink manufacturing businesses."

Chief Executive of Scottish Bakers & NFDT, Alasdair Smith said, "The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted food and drinks businesses across Northern Ireland. As we chart our pathway through the ongoing restrictions, it has never been more important to support the development of the workforce and the funds available to support apprenticeships will make a real difference. We're delighted to be extending our partnership with Belfast Met and stand ready to receive enquiries about how to progress training from employers."

Aidan Sloane, Head of Skills and Apprenticeships at Belfast Metropolitan College said, "We've worked with NFDT for many years, delivering apprenticeships into local bakeries, and we're delighted to be able to work with them now to extend this provision to other parts of Northern Ireland's Food and Drink manufacturing sector. We'd urge businesses to get in touch to find out how they can take advantage of this new opportunity."

About Us

National Food and Drink Training (NFDT) was established in 2015 as a rebrand of Scottish Bakers training provision. This was a direct result of the strengthening of its portfolio to include lean manufacturing techniques and the delivery of the new Food Manufacturing Excellence (FME) qualifications.

Contact Us

National Food & Drink Training

c/o Scottish Bakers
Unit 2, Halbeath Interchange Business Park
Kingseat Road
KY11 8RY
United Kingdom

01383 661 555

Where to Find Us