Higher Level Apprenticeship in Food and Drink Manufacture

Higher Level Apprenticeships (HLAs) are aimed at anyone who has completed A Levels (or equivalent). A HLA is a work-based programme in which apprentices earn while learning and gain a nationally recognised professional qualification – in CAFRE this will be a Foundation Degree in Food & Drink Manufacture, validated by Ulster University.

The CAFRE HLA will aim to provide employers with people who have strong technical and good employability skills.

CAFRE Apprenticeship logos

This project is part funded through the Northern Ireland European Social Fund Programme 2014-2020 and the Department for the Economy.

To be eligible an Apprentice needs to be:

  • In, or about to begin, full time employment in the Northern Ireland Food & Drink Manufacturing sector
  • Working a minimum of 21 hours per week
  • Over the minimum school leaving age

The CAFRE HLA will have a unique delivery method. Apprentices will be required to attend the campus on four occasions during the academic year:

  • October
  • January
  • March
  • May

Course content

All 12 modules completed during the Apprenticeship will be assessed using coursework based on the apprentices workplace.

Year 1:

  • Food science, quality and safety
  • Food microbiology
  • Food processing systems
  • Forecasting and planning

Year 2:

  • New product development
  • Food manufacture and packaging technology
  • Principles of financial management
  • Work-based learning I

Year 3:

  • Lean manufacturing and business improvement
  • Quality management and environmental standards
  • Managing people
  • Work-based learning II

How to apply

For further information on the Apprenticeships in Food and Drink and how to apply, contact Nicola Kerr, Course Manager, on telephone 028 8676 8286 or email nicola.kerr@daera-ni.gov.uk

Entry Requirements

Minimum of: Two A Levels at Grade A -E and Three GCSE Levels AT Grade A – C (4-9), to include English Language, Mathematics and Science subjects.


Level 3 Apprenticeship in Food & Drink.


BTEC Extended (or similar) Diploma in a relevant subject (Food Technology, Food Nutrition & Health, Agriculture, Applied Science).

Key staff

Nicola Kerr

Nicola Kerr

Senior Lecturer (Food) Food,
Loughry Campus