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.
Individual employers will set the selection criteria for their apprenticeships. In order to optimise success, candidates will typically have four GCSEs at grade C or equivalent, including Mathematics, English (grade 4 or above) and a Science. Employers who recruit candidates without English or Maths at grade C or above must ensure that the candidate achieves this standard prior to the completion of the apprenticeship.
Employers will set their own criteria, but typically an entrant to this apprenticeship will already have achieved a minimum of Entry Level 3 in English and Maths.
There will be two phases of training to ensure that apprentices meet this apprenticeship standard, in line with specified employer requirements.
The foundation phase will be intensive off-the-job training focused on developing the apprentice's core skills, knowledge and behaviour, allowing them to work effectively with supervision in a largely simulated working environment. This stage will typically require 1,400 Vocational Guided Learning Hours, building up from the basics to more complex engineering operations and practices. The tasks will be aligned to the job role to develop a range of tailored core engineering techniques. By the end of this phase, the apprentice will therefore be able to demonstrate, under independent test conditions, that they can deploy the relevant skills and occupational behaviours.
There will be an employer endorsement as part of the final assessment of this phase to ensure that the apprentice has demonstrated full competence against the knowledge, skills and behaviours in this apprenticeship standard. The employer will sign off that the apprentice is ‘job ready’ as a competent technician.
Apprentices will be expected to comply with their company's standard Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) dress code. Any shortfalls in safety equipment will be addressed during the first week of the course.
Completion of this apprenticeship standard will be recognised by the relevant professional institutions as the evidence required for Engineering Technician (EngTech) registration through a professional review.
For those deemed capable and ready, there is the chance to progress to higher levels of education and training.
Shy student engineer Pete "grew" to enjoy distinguished police career. Retired police officer Pete Szabo was "painfully shy" and not "particularly bookish" as a young man...yet he went on to hold some of the most senior positions in the Derbyshire force.
And, looking back, he credits his early training in an entirely different field at Derby College with broadening his skills, as he "grew" to pass his police training course with the second highest mark. When he retired at the end of October, Pete, 52, had operational oversight of 680 officers and police staff, yet in the mid-1980s he worked as a laboratory technician in Belper.
While Pete was with solid fuel business TI Parkray, he studied on release for a day-and-a half-a week, over four years, at Derby College. He gained his ONC and HNC engineering qualifications with passes and merits. And his time at Derby College helped lay the foundations when he decided to change career and apply for the police.
Pete progressed through the ranks, from PC, to becoming the youngest Sergeant at the time in Derbyshire, to Inspector and Chief Inspector. At one stage he headed Learning and Development for forces across the East Midlands.
He retired as Chief Inspector and Operations Manager for the Derbyshire force. Pete is currently studying for a Chartered Management Institute (CMI) Level 5 qualification and said he intends to keep on learning.
For me, college was great. I was painfully shy at that stage and it helped me grow as a person, through meeting and learning from people from a wide range of backgrounds and different ages and cultures, and from various sections of industry like Rolls-Royce.
It gave me an early idea of public speaking and it gave me an insight into the academic world. I'm not the most bookish of people but I came out of my police training course with the second highest mark.