Launch of Apprenticeship Scheme for Beer Industry in Scotland

A brewing Modern Apprenticeship, offering training in the art of beer production, has been announced, with backing from industry leadership and employers.

Commissioned by Skills Development Scotland, the programme was developed by the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink, with extensive support from industry leadership body Scotland Food & Drink, and involvement from brewers large and small, including Tennent Caledonian Breweries UK Ltd, Islay Ales, and Diageo.

The Modern Apprenticeship in brewing, one of the world’s oldest industries, will give students the chance to learn their trade on the job from an employer, while working towards a recognised SCQF level 5 SVQ qualification.

Developed in consultation with the Scottish brewing industry, the programme will develop a pipeline of new recruits into the workforce, as well as provide training and development for those currently working in brewing.

The programme is the latest step by food and drink producers to attract talent, a priority outlined in Scotland Food & Drink’s Ambition 2030 strategy which aims to join-up industry and education to promote the benefits of working in the sector to those leaving school.

Breweries currently sustain more than 8,500 jobs in Scotland, with the beer and pub trade employing over 51,000 people directly. This Modern Apprenticeship has been drawn up to meet the needs of all brewers, from micro-businesses to major employers.

Hilary Jones, Chair of the Brewing Industry Leadership Group, said: “Brewing is one of the oldest industries in Scotland with a strong provenance and reputation going back centuries. The launch of this Modern Apprenticeship as a new route for young people to join this rewarding industry is great news.

“We’re looking forward to working with Skills Development Scotland to engage with school leavers, encouraging them to consider an apprenticeship in brewing as a contemporary alternative to more traditional further education, providing a springboard to a long-term career.”

Gerry McBride, Strategic Relations Manager – Food & Drink at Skills Development Scotland, added: “The People and Skills Board at Scotland Food and Drink is committed to supporting the delivery of the Skills Investment Plan and ensuring that businesses are getting access to the training and qualifications required to grow and develop their business. The new Brewing Modern Apprenticeship is part of a suite of new qualifications that have been developed for the sector helping it remain at the forefront of food and drink manufacturing in Scotland.”

Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills, Jamie Hepburn said: “Scotland’s beer industry and the wider food and drink sector has been one of the big success stories in Scotland in recent years. A key factor in continuing that success in the long term is attracting a new and younger workforce to the industry, and providing these employees with the right skills and training to meet current and future business needs.

“As such I welcome this new Brewing Modern Apprenticeship to our growing family of apprenticeships as we continue to deliver more apprenticeships in Scotland than ever before.”

Jim Ryan, Head Brewer at Tennent Caledonian Breweries, said: “We’ve been brewing on-site at Wellpark since the 1500s, so it’s always been important to ensure there’s a pipeline of skilled brewers coming into the business.

“The brewing Modern Apprenticeship will give applicants the practical skills and industry-recognised qualification to succeed in a brewing career. The appeal of this brewing Modern Apprenticeship and working at Tennent’s saw us receive over 2,000 applications for our roles, we’re delighted therefore to support the scheme and welcome two young apprentices, including Jay Fraser from Dunblane, to Wellpark in August.”