New qualifications for processing sector
Food processing workers in the UK will soon be able to
increase their work skills through a new competency-based vocational
The system is part of a UK government push to increase the skills levels in
the country's food and drink sector, which has a high level of unqualified staff
(19 percent) compared to the national average (11 percent).
government-funded organisation established to deal with the problem, says the
new National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) for food and drink workers apply
in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and Scotland. The qualifications can be
achieved in the workplace and are meant to assess a candidate's competence
whilst they are doing their job.
The qualifications, divided into three levels, are available for new
workers, for more experienced staff, for supervisory and for technical
employees. A separate qualification is available for managers in the meat and
poultry sectors. The training courses are structured around units of competence
directly derived from the UK's National Occupational Standards
"Previously many industries have had their own qualification, which
although containing valuable content lacked the consistency and transferability
across all the different sub-sectors," Improve stated in announcing the new
The qualification allows individuals to pick and tailor their learning at
the different levels to specialise in their areas of interest.
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