Employers have been invited to set the agenda for a new food and drink ‘excellence’ qualification, aimed at raising the bar on productivity and efficiency in the workplace.

Food and drink sector skills council Improve is setting up a working group of employers, including bakers, to consult on best practice in areas such as lean manufacturing, sustainability and quality.

The results will be used as a basis for a new publicly accredited qualification, as part of the national Qualifications and Credits Framework (QCF).

The likes of Warburtons, United Biscuits and Northern Foods have already expressed an interest in taking part in the group’s first meeting on 25 June, and Improve is keen to hear from more companies of any size.

“In the first stage of the project, we will work with employers to identify a set of National Occupational Standards outlining the skills and knowledge all workers in the industry should have in order to achieve optimum performance,” explained Derek Williams, Improve’s development director.

“These standards will then form the basis for a nationally recognised Food and Drink Proficiency Qualification designed specifically for assessment in the workplace.”