The food and drink industry is dynamic, fast-paced and high-tech – not to mention potentially well paid. With plenty of exciting opportunities for progression, and roles that require varying levels of responsibility, your career path could go in one of many directions. It’s really down to you.
Food & Drink Process Operators work right at the heart of the manufacturing team, helping to create some of the most famous food and drink brands in the country. From baking to the production of your favourite soft drinks, you can work in any part of the industry – ensuring that safe and tasty products are made to consistently high standards.
Our Food & Drink Process Operator Apprenticeship has been designed and approved by the food and drink industry to give you the specific skills, knowledge and experience they’re looking for. So once you qualify, you’ll have a solid foundation to take your career as far as you like.
As a Process Operator, you could be working in a variety of different ways. Therefore your training will include a mix of classroom and on-the-job learning to ensure you complete your Apprenticeship with a sought-after combination of industry and technical skills – making you a huge asset to your employer.
If you like being part of a team and you enjoy being active at work, this is the role for you. But the most important thing is a desire to make a real difference in the industry and to the way products are made.
Employers will expect you to have some GCSEs or equivalent qualifications, but not in any particular subject – although Maths and English are always favourites.
Earn while you learn
Throughout your Apprenticeship you’ll benefit from both classroom and on-the-job teaching – and get paid to train. You’ll start on around £11,000 in your first year, but many Food & Drink Process Operators are paid a premium for their skills, so it’s likely you’ll earn more as you progress through your career.
Qualified apprentices can look forward to an average starting salary of £23,000.
Your 18-24 month long programme will develop you as an all-round Process Operator. You’ll learn about the standards and methods employed in the food industry, and will develop the ability to operate in a particular area – but with a thorough understanding of the wider food supply chain. From setting up to shutting down, you’ll always be looking to optimise production performance. Your communication and team-working skills will also be honed as part of your development.
On the way to achieving your Apprenticeship, you will acquire a L2 Diploma in Food and Drink Operations – a qualification that’s recognised and designed by the industry. You'll also achieve other qualifications, such as a L2 Award in Food Safety and a L2 Award in HACCP, which will really help to boost your CV.