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A new Foundation Apprenticeship in Food & Drink Manufacturing is being developed to help young people gain valuable work experience and industry recognised qualifications and skills while they’re still at school. 

Foundation Apprentices are secondary school pupils who work on real projects with staff.   The young people develop the soft skills – like problem solving in a workplace, working with others and communicating with people - that employers need and that come from quality work experience.  That makes them better prepared for the workplace when they leave school, whatever career path they ultimately choose to follow.

Foundation Apprenticeships are one of the flagship projects of the Industry Skills Investment Plan and can provide a talent pipeline for the sector.

James Withers, Scotland Food & Drink Chief Executive said:  “The food and drink Industry Skills Investment Plan is rooted in the skills agenda for the sector, recognising that unless we work in partnership with schools, colleges and employers then our ambitions for the sector will not be realised.  

“Skills play a huge role in the latest industry strategy, Ambition 2030, which aims to double the value of the sector, and Foundation Apprenticeships are a hugely important part of this strategy.  I call on all employers in the industry to find out more about the scheme and tap in to the undoubted talent that is out there.” 

Gerry McBride, Strategic Relations Manager – Food & Drink, Skills Development Scotland, said: “We need more people to regard a career in the food and drink industry as one which will be rewarding and offers a high quality career path.  Without such a career path then we will struggle to create the talent pipeline that will allow this key sector for Scotland to continue to develop.”

Justine Fosh, The National Skills Academy for Food & Drink Chief Executive said:  “Central to this is engaging with schools, colleges, further and higher education establishments, universities, training providers, skills bodies and employers.  And that is where Foundation Apprenticeships can help.  They bring a fresh perspective and new ideas to those tasks and they help young people build the skills the food and drink industry needs for the future.” 

The Foundation Apprenticeship in Food & Drink Manufacturing is currently under development, if you would like to be involved please contact 

By August 2017 Foundation Apprenticeships should be on offer in every local authority area in Scotland with places currently being recruited for almost 2,000 young people.  Our ambition is for them to be part of every school’s offer by 2020, giving many more young people the skills and experience that Scotland’s employers need.


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