Bread dough being shaped by two male bakers

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National Food & Drink Training (NFDT) – the training arm of trade body Scottish Bakers – has been accredited to the matrix Standard.

This means NFDT meets the international quality standard for organisations that deliver information, advice and/or guidance, either as their sole purpose or as part of their service offering.

The main objective of NFDT, according to Scottish Bakers, is to make the food & drink industry more competitive and sustainable through the skills and development of its staff. As such, it aims to add value to employers involved in the manufacturing process (regardless of size) by aiding and sustaining the retainment and recruitment of workers as well as promoting the industry as a positive career destination through high class apprenticeship training specific to the food & drink sector.

Courses delivered by NFDT include Bakery and Craft Bakery Skills, Food Manufacturing Excellence, Food & Drink Operations and Supply Chain Skills at Levels 5 and 6 in Scotland, and Food & Drink Operations, Bakery and ILM Team Leader/Supervisor at Levels 2 and 3 in England.

The accreditation, Scottish Bakers said, demonstrates the high-quality delivery of apprenticeship programmes and skill courses to meet the baking and wider food & drink sector needs.

“We are delighted to have been awarded the matrix Standard and it comes at a crucial time with businesses facing very real recruitment and retention challenge,” said Scottish Bakers chief executive Alasdair Smith. “But it is vital businesses continue to invest their time in training staff to ensure they remain resilient into the future. We are delighted to be a trusted partner and the matrix Standard reaffirms this position.”

NFDT also seeks to provide a wide range of benefits to help employers sustain and grow their businesses through skills development, technical information and assistance, competitions, sector intelligence and business networking.

One example of this is the ‘Bite Size Chunks’ programme in Scotland – a series of 10 online learning modules funded by Scotland Enterprise. The description includes a list of potential business benefits, such as improved profit/margins and a more motivated and engaged workforce.

Roger Chapman, head of the matrix Service for The Growth Company, congratulated the Scottish Bakers and NFDT on their success. “We believe that at the heart of high-quality advice and support services are strong leadership, excellent service and a focus on continuous improvement, all underpinned by effective use of the resources available,” he said. “The matrix Standard is designed to benchmark organisations against best practice in these areas. With their accreditation success, NFDT is working to provide the best possible support to their clients.”