FP Brewing plant

As the new apprenticeship levy starts operating this week, a group of ten brewers has submitted an Expression of Interest to government outlining its intention to develop a new brewing apprenticeship standard.

The move is supported by the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) and the Institute of Brewing and Distilling (IBD), and comes in advance of upcoming changes to apprenticeships.

The standard is now the subject of a consultation by the Department for Education, and the BBPA is urging brewers to both give their views and demonstrate their support for the standard here

An apprenticeship ‘Trailblazer’, consisting of more than ten industry employers and other industry stakeholders, including the BBPA, is being formed to develop the new standard, which the group anticipates will take around 12 months.

The Trailblazer is being chaired by Kris Gumbrell, of Brewhouse & Kitchen, the 17-strong pub group and brewer, which has spearheaded the development of the standard.

Large businesses, with a pay bill of more than £3 million, will begin paying the new apprenticeship levy from this week. The levy, and ongoing government funding for apprenticeships, will oblige employers to follow these standards. The government is also beginning to phase out existing apprenticeship frameworks, so it is therefore vital that a brewer occupation standard is now established, says the BBPA.

Other brewing companies interested in helping to shape its development are urged to contact the BBPA.

Kris Gumbrell said: “Training and apprenticeships in our industry are vital to our continued success. The creation of a brewing apprenticeship standard will help us continue to provide high-quality training opportunities for current and future employees, while also giving breweries access to a skilled workforce from their investment in the levy.”

SIBA managing director, Mike Benner, said: “The beer and brewing industry has always been a big employer of young people and we are seeing more and more young people show an interest in the independent craft brewing industry, thanks in no small part to the boom in choice of quality beers across the UK that are inspiring the next generation of brewers.

“SIBA fully supports the government’s decision to develop a new brewing apprenticeship standard and hopes it will lead to more young people entering this fantastic industry.”

IBD chief executive, Jerry Avis, added: “The Institute of Brewing and Distilling is fully supportive of an apprenticeship initiative for employers in the sector that will provide an entry route to professional brewing, where technical knowledge supports the practical skills necessary to produce consistently excellent, quality beers.”