Careers in the Food and Drink sector are as diverse as the food we eat! 

Did you know that Scotland will need around 20,000 new recruits by 2024? The Foundation Apprenticeship in Food and Drink Technologies can support progression into an inspiring career. You could work in areas like: 

  • Food and drink science 
  • New product development 
  • Technology and manufacturing 
  • Nutrition 
  • Design and marketing 


What's the qualification?

You’ll gain a Foundation Apprenticeship in Food and Drink Technologies, which is the same level of learning as an SQA Higher (SCQF level 6).

  • A National Progression Award (NPA) in Food Manufacturing at SCQF level 6
  • Awards in Health & Safety and Food Hygiene at SCQF level 5
  • Core units of an SVQ in Food and Drink Operations at SCQF level 6
  • A substantial work placement

SCQF qualification levels explained

What will I learn?

Your National Progression Award (NPA) will cover topics like:

  • Food Manufacturing: Fundamentals of Food Science
  • Food Manufacturing: Food Production
  • Food Manufacturing: Commercial and Social Drivers
  • Food Manufacturing: Sustainability
  • Elementary Food Hygiene
  • Elementary Health and Safety

Your learning will be a blend of hands-onpractical and virtual work, reflecting the nature of the industry. You will: 

  • Respond to challenges set by leading employers in the industry 
  • Present your ideas on new products to industry experts 
  • Be entrepreneurial with your product development and marketing ideas 
  • Develop and invent new products based on employers’ challenges 
  • Include current, sustainable industry practices within your product  
  • Pitch your product and solutions to employers and potentially see your product come to life  

Your Foundation Apprenticeship will also help you to develop core skills valued by employers, particularly:

  • Communication
  • Problem solving
  • Working with others
  • Time management

These transferable skills are necessary and highly desirable for working in a range of other related jobs.

Where could it take me?

Your Foundation Apprenticeship gives you lots of options: it’s up to you where you go next.

  • A Modern Apprenticeship: On completing your Foundation Apprenticeship, you’ll already have achieved five units of the Food and Drink Operations Modern Apprenticeship at SCQF level 6. If you choose this route, you’ll have a head start in your career.

  • Further Education: Continue your studies and complete a Higher National Certificate/Diploma in Food Science and Technology, or related subjects. Your workplace experience will support your college application.

  • University: Foundation Apprenticeships are recognised as equivalent to SQA Highers by all Scottish universities. You’ll already have quality experience in the industry – this will make your UCAS stand out from the crowd. This apprenticeship also provides you with 42 UCAS tariff points. Find out more about points on the UCAS website

  • Straight to a job: Use your qualification and work experience to find a job in the food and drink industry. Typical roles include: baker, confectioner, quality assurance operative, productivity technician and production control operative.

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How will it work?

You'll complete your Foundation Apprenticeship alongside your other school subjects.

An exciting development for this year is that for the first time, you'll have the opportunity to work on virtual projects with leading brands such as Coca-Cola, Mackies Crisps, Baxters and loads more! You'll also get the chance to attend work placements with local companies in the Food and Drink sector.

This Foundation Apprenticeship gives you an industry recognised qualification which will look great on your CV. 

How to apply

If you're staying on at school, you can apply for a Foundation Apprenticeship.

You can use the search tool to find out if this subject is available at your school. Then just fill out the form to let us know you're interested, and we'll get back to you with more information. 

If your school is not offering this Foundation Apprenticeship, please speak to your school careers adviser to find out if there's an opportunity to access this unique experience virtually.

Find out if this subject is available at your school