Faculty of


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  • Code: WTOCFISA2
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  • Faculty: Apprenticeships
Level 2 – 4 x GCSE grade D or level 3 (including English and Maths)
Working in the Food & Drink Manufacturing Sector can lead to you having a very rewarding and successful career. Your career path could take you from Senior Operator to Team Leader/Supervisor level. On average as a Senior Operator you can expect to earn around £25,000 per year and as a Team Leader/Supervisor you can expect to earn around £27,000 per year.
Apprenticeships are open to anyone over the age of 16, whether you have just left school or you have been working for years. Preferred entry requirements are GCSE Maths, English and ICT, grades A-D or
equivalent. Other grades will be looked at on an individual basis. An interest in making things and understanding how things work would also be advantageous.
Food and Drink Production Operators work in one of the largest, most dynamic and fastest growing sectors of industry. Every day, producers, manufacturers and retailers make and sell millions of innovative food products to consumers in the UK and around the world. This includes drinks, cakes, biscuits, ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook food, sandwiches, wraps, fresh fruit and salads. It is imperative that Process Operators in the industry have the skills and knowledge to ensure our food products, which millions of people consume every day, are safe.                       

Following completion of the programme, you will have developed an understanding of continuous improvement processes used in the industry, and will know when it is appropriate to escalate technical issues to a specialist or more senior member of staff. You will understand food safety and its importance to the industry. You will be an effective communicator who will able to work well with others. You will have a solid grounding in most aspects of food production and manufacturing and have a good level of product knowledge. On completion of this programme, you may be able to progress onto the Advanced Food Industry Skills and Technical Management Apprenticeship. This apprenticeship is an ideal spring board for potential future leaders of the food and drink industry.


As an apprentice you will have a dedicated assessor who will visit you at your place of employment regularly to carry out progress reviews and assessments, which will include a range of written and practical tasks.

Your qualification will require you to provide sufficient evidence to show that you can work to the national standard. Your assessor will help you to compile the evidence needed. 

There will also be regular Progress Reviews. These Reviews give you, your employer and your assessor the opportunity to:

  • Discuss the progress that you are making
  • Identify and resolve any issues which you or your employer may wish to raise
  • Identify and put into place any additional support that you would find useful to help improve your performance
  • Recognise your achievements
  • Set realistic targets towards gaining your qualification
Food and Drink Production Operators work in the manufacturing sector of the food and drink industry. You may be employed in a company that specialises one type of product, e.g. ready meals, soft drinks or confectionary, or in a company that makes a wide range of different products. Process Operators typically work on production lines within food manufacturing plants. The industry uses excellent manufacturing processes and highly automated equipment and technology to ensure it remains competitive, and produces food and drink products to strict food safety and quality standards.

Study Programme

All students at Oldham College will participate in a personalised study programme that will maximise your potential and enable you to progress onto employment, apprenticeships or higher education.

This means you will:

  • Study a core qualification in a vocational discipline and continue to develop your English and Maths skills through functional skills, GCSE resits and the option of Level 3 qualifications
  • Participate in meaningful work experience
  • Enjoy a range of enrichment opportunities e.g. basketball, archery, skiing and sign language
  • Take part in dedicated tutorial sessions to review your progress and development

Visit: www.oldham.ac.uk or Call: 0161 785 4000