Left to right: Jay Fraser (apprentice at Tennent Caledonian Breweries), Jim Ryan (head brewer, Tennent Caledonian Breweries), Hilary Jones (chair, Brewing Industry Leadership Group), and Gerry McBride (strategic relations manager, food and drink at Skills Development Scotland)

A brewing Modern Apprenticeship, offering training in the art of beer production, has been announced in Scotland, with backing from industry leadership and employers.

Commissioned by Skills Development Scotland, the programme was developed by the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink, with extensive support from industry leadership body Scotland Food & Drink, and involvement from brewers large and small, including Tennent Caledonian Breweries UK Ltd, Islay Ales, and Diageo.

The Modern Apprenticeship in brewing, one of the world’s oldest industries, will give students the chance to learn their trade on the job from an employer, while working towards a recognised SCQF level 5 SVQ qualification.

Developed in consultation with the Scottish brewing industry, the programme will develop a pipeline of new recruits into the workforce, as well as provide training and development for those currently working in brewing.

Strong provenance and reputation

The programme is the latest step by food and drink producers to attract talent, a priority outlined in Scotland Food & Drink’s Ambition 2030 strategy which aims to join up industry and education to promote the benefits of working in the sector to those leaving school.

Breweries currently sustain more than 8,500 jobs in Scotland, with the beer and pub trade employing over 51,000 people directly.

Hilary Jones, chair of the Brewing Industry Leadership Group, said: “Brewing is one of the oldest industries in Scotland, with a strong provenance and reputation going back centuries. The launch of this Modern Apprenticeship as a new route for young people to join this rewarding industry is great news.

“We’re looking forward to working with Skills Development Scotland to engage with school leavers, encouraging them to consider an apprenticeship in brewing as a contemporary alternative to more traditional further education, providing a springboard to a long-term career.”

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