New "pick and mix" vocational qualifications in food manufactu-ring are set to be unveiled to emp-loyers by Improve, the sector’s skills council, in Leeds on 6 July.

Under Improve’s plans, the exis- ting bakery qualifications, inclu-ding the NVQ Bakery levels 1-3 and the Bakery Progression Award, will be phased out over the next two years. Instead, new modular National Vocational Qualifications and Scottish Vocational Qualifications in Food Manufacture will be offered from September.

They will include bakery specific units of competence: for example, at Level 2 there will be a craft bakery skills "pathway" alongside other "pathways" relevant to trainee bakers, such as production control skills or distribution skills.The qualifications will be availble through on-the-job training, colleges or private training.

Development director Derek Williams said Improve’s role was to direct funding towards the new qualifications, which it expects will be in place by September. Improve chief executive Jack Matthews said "The system of accumulating units of learning recognises the limitations on study time available to those in employment."

To attend the launch event at the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds contact Sally Jenkins at Improve on 0845 644 0448. See feature pg 20.