Food and Drink Apprenticeships

Meeting the Needs of Employers

The National Centre for Food Manufacturing is seen as a national exemplar for its innovative apprenticeship provision and commitment to partnering with employers to develop and deliver apprenticeships to meet their needs.

We aim to provide the best experience for apprentices through flexible delivery and innovative teaching and learning, and have worked with employers and the Trailblazer Groups to be able to offer a comprehensive range of new standards including the sector’s first Higher Level and Degree Apprenticeships. 

Support for Functional Skills enables apprentices to advance their maths and English and attain the Functional Skills required by the relevant apprenticeship standard where needed. Our blend of Further and Higher Education for the food industry provides employers with access to apprenticeships from Levels 2 to 6 and a ‘one-stop shop’ through which they can meet the skills development needs of their employees.

The University of Lincoln is placed in RateMyApprenticeship’s Best 50 Training Providers 2022-2023 and Food Sciences at Lincoln is ranked 1st in the UK for overall student satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2022 (out of 13 ranking institutions).

Work With Us

We have worked with employers in the food industry for many years to develop training and educational provision to meet their needs. Apprenticeships are our forte and there has never been a better time for employers to take advantage of apprenticeships to increase productivity and performance by attracting and developing the very best talent and enabling them to nurture the talent within their business at every level.

Whether you want to help your employees get a foot on the career development ladder or you are aiming to fill a high level skills gap by attracting high-calibre new recruits or training existing employees, we can help. With our extensive experience of working with employers to deliver apprenticeship schemes, we are able to advise employers on the new standards and qualifications and assist in matching standards to job roles and planning apprenticeships schemes.

As a national hub for food sector skills development, NCFM has specialist technical facilities including a dedicated food factory with full-scale and pilot plant, food chemistry and microbiology laboratories, test kitchen, sensory suite, and a technical library specific to the needs of food industry apprentices.

The NCFM is a trusted partner of 250 UK food business when it comes to meeting the skills development needs of their employees, and we deliver apprenticeships with many leading food businesses. Our partners include Addo Food Group, Bakkavor, Bidfood, Dalehead Foods, Summers Butchery Services, Greencore Group, Tulip, Dovecote Park, Freshtime, Finlays, JDM Food Group, Kerry, Nestle, Worldwide Fruit, University Academy Holbeach, Produce World Group, J.O. Sims Ltd, Greenvale AP, FreshLinc, Ripe Now, and Lincolnshire Field Products.

Supporting Apprenticeship Recruitment

We are able to offer advice to employers on apprenticeship recruitment and the help businesses to successfully recruit to vacancies. If you are looking for an apprentice, get in touch and we can help with your vacancy requirements by offering advice and posting your vacancy on websites including Recruit an ApprenticeThe National Skills Academy for Food and Drink Tasty Careers, and UCAS Apprenticeship Jobs.

Employers are encouraged to use the Government's Recruit an Apprentice tool at to post vacancies and manage applications for apprenticeships.

We will also promote your vacancy to young people in the various schools with who we routinely engage to raise awareness of career opportunities in the Food Industry. We are also happy to take some of the administrative burden off you and can help with shortlisting candidates, preparing and administering the relevant paperwork, and supporting the interview and selection process.

Once the successful apprentice has been recruited, we can help employers to choose the right training and delivery arrangements to suit both the employer and apprentice, and we can make induction arrangements with all parties to ensure the apprenticeship gets off to a good start for all involved.

We are also able to offer advice on funding and queries relating to the Apprenticeship Levy.

More information can also be found on the website.

Connect with Us 


Linkedin logo Twitter Icon Facebook logo YouTube logo


The Centre of Excellence in Agri-food Technology, Holbeach, Spalding PE12 7FJ

T: 01406 493000

List of Centre Staff