Apprenticeships in

Food and Drink Process Operator

Food and drink process operators work in manufacturing, one of the largest and fastest growing sectors in the food and drink industry.

You could be employed by a company that specialises in one type of product, for example ready meals, soft drinks or confectionery; or in a company that makes a wide range of different products.

Your apprenticeship will be tailored depending on your place of work and you study principles of manufacturing practice, food safety and HACCP, maintaining product quality and health, safety and environmental standards.

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What will I study?

  • Advanced food and drink processing principles – including good manufacturing processes (GMP), multi-stage operations, standard operating procedures (SOPs), stock control and waste minimisation
  • Advanced food and drink processing practices – including managing incidents, developing new products, implementing SOPs, routine and preventative maintenance and quality control testing
  • Business management – including understanding business vision and values, internal and external customers and profitability and commercial awareness
  • Continuous improvement – including using data and identifying trends and evaluating and improving productivity and performance
  • Leadership and management – including building relationships, leading teams and by example, training, mentoring and buddying and communicating effectively at all levels
  • Health and safety practices and legislation within a food production environment – including food safety, hygiene standards and hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP)
  • Functional Skills or GCSE in English and Maths depending on previous qualifications

How long will it take?

  • 18 to 24 months depending on previous experience
  • Day release

What qualifications do I need to start?

  • Preferably GCSEs at grade 4 or above including English and Maths, or
  • Level 2 Apprenticeship in Food and Drink Process Operator

What qualifications will I gain?

Course options after this programme

  • Study a higher level apprenticeship or foundation degree

Career options

  • apprenticeships

Student Profile
James Tickner

Ambition: Manager within Bakkavor

Employer: Bakkavor Hitchen Foods, Wigan

Age: 20

Reaseheath’s ‘Advanced Apprentice of the Year’, James is a development apprentice with Bakkavor Hitchen Foods, a company supplying prepared vegetables, salads and ready meals to supermarkets.

Being part of a substantial company has its benefits, as James has had the opportunity to gain wide experience of production systems. He is also supported by our assessors who observe him at his workplace and teach him new techniques.

James says: “The best thing about being an apprentice is that you learn valuable skills ‘on the job’. You’re working alongside people who know the industry inside out and are experts in their field.”