Food and Drink Process Operator Apprenticeship (Level 2)

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.

What will I study?

  • Food and drink processing principles – including food safety and quality standards, product origins, standard operating procedures (SOPs) and supply chains
  • Food and drink processing practices – including handling products, handovers to colleagues, using and cleaning equipment, basic fault finding, problem solving and escalating issues
  • Continuous improvement – including monitoring quality, interpreting and acting upon performance data and identifying opportunities for improvement
  • Team working – including building relationships, listening and communicating effectively with others and giving and receiving feedback
  • 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

What qualifications do I need to start?

  • Preferably GCSEs at grade 2 or above including English and Maths

What qualifications will I gain?

Course options after this programme

How much will this course cost?

Apprenticeships are funded through government and employer contributions. If you are:

  • 16-18 working for a small business (<50) your training will be fully funded*
  • 19+ or working for a Medium size business (50+) an employer contribution may be required
  • Working for a large business or organisation (Payroll of £3m+) you training funded from your employers Digital Apprenticeship Service  Account

*small businesses who employ an apprentice between 16-18 may be eligible to receive a financial government incentive


Our college buses pick up over 1,400 students each day from a wide area. From September 2018 all college bus routes to Reaseheath will be FREE. To find a bus route near you visit the transport pages on our website.

How do I apply?

If you have an employer and you would like to apply for an apprenticeship you can apply now online. You can also view our live vacancies or complete an online enquiry form and a member of the apprenticeship team will contact you.

For a step by step guide on the application process visit the how to apply pages on our website. 

Frequently Asked Questions

You can find out more information about becoming an apprentice or employing an apprentice by visiting our website.

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Food and Drink Process Operator Apprenticeship (Level 2)

Duration: 1.5 to 2 years

Study options: Work-Based Learning

Intermediate Apprenticeship

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