Food manufacturers queue up to bridge management skills gap with new food industry qualifications says specialist awarding organisation, FDQ

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Pioneering new food management qualifications developed with food manufacturers - and launching next month - are already attracting the attention of some big players.

“I fully intend to take advantage of this qualification to assist me in up skilling all my manufacturing teams to become excellent people managers and drive Maple Leaf to become the preferred supplier to the UK Bagel market.” HR Manager, Maple Leaf

In response to long term demand from a food industry struggling with skills gaps at lower management level, specialist awarding organisation FDQ has developed these fresh and unique food management qualifications. This work has been undertaken in consultation with big name food manufacturers, to ensure that the programme meets the specific needs of this industry.

The result is the launch of the first competence-based food management qualifications of their kind. These have a blend of process management content as well as people management content; all placed within a food context. This blend will enable those on the programmes to develop the skills and knowledge which are 100% applicable to a food industry environment, empowering employees to drive improvement in both people and process.

Food manufacturing businesses and food training providers have been working with FDQ to ensure that the qualifications will deliver to directly meet the needs of the industry.

It is widely reported that the food industry has long struggled to find and nurture the expertise to drive their businesses at team leader and supervisor level. This suite of FDQ management qualifications is designed to combat that, both now and in the future. Many large manufacturers, such as Maple leaf UK Ltd and Brown Brothers Food Group are already queuing up to enrol their staff on this innovative qualification and start plugging this gap.

“Prospective employees are not naturally attracted to food manufacturing as a career and therefore we have difficulty attracting new talent to these roles," said Colleena Vozniak-Sears, HR Manager for Maple Leaf Bakery UK Ltd.

“By introducing a qualification that is specifically developed for food manufacturing, it will help us to attract the right talent, build our employer brand and retain talent within our business.”

“I fully intend to take full advantage of this newly developed qualification to assist me in up skilling all my manufacturing teams to become excellent people managers and drive Maple Leaf to become the preferred supplier to the UK Bagel market,” confirmed Colleena.

Another large food producer, Brown Brothers Food Group, who input into the build of the qualification have also voiced their support. “I was involved in the development of the FDQ food management qualifications; providing ideas as well as feedback against the programme standard and business needs. These qualifications will add value to our operation in so many ways,” said Jayne Gaskell, HR Manager at Food Pro - Brown Brothers Food Group.

“We intend to begin using the qualifications when they launch,” Jayne confirmed. "70% of the managers within our business are new managers; this qualification will help them to develop a depth of understanding of the needs of Brown Brothers at a management level and the impact they can have on the company. It will also provide high levels of skill development to enable individuals to grow personally and ultimately assist them in making that impact. Win-win all round.”

Amanda Clark, Chief Executive of FDQ has said: “We are very proud of these fresh new qualifications. The excitement which is building around these programmes is due to the fact they are aligned with the up to date needs of industry. Learners can be assessed against both industry standards and in house criteria.”

“The food manufacturers we have worked with are delighted to have a bespoke management training tool rather than the pre-existing generic qualifications that do not deal with industry specific issues. We can’t wait to see the programmes being rolled out, and watch the qualification release the potential of both learners and food businesses in the UK,” concluded Amanda.

Training and assessment options cover people management, management and improvement of technical controls, quality assurance and business systems in a food environment.

Now the qualifications have been formally accredited by Ofqual, FDQ will be working with the Skills Funding Agency to ensure they are eligible to receive funding and are included in the Food Apprenticeship Frameworks.

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Sarah Marshall
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