Hovis®️ Engineering Apprenticeship
Level 3 Food and Drink Maintenance Engineering (FDME)

Apprenticeship Qualifications

Engineers are vital to our manufacturing capability, which is why our Apprentices of today are an important part of tomorrow. Since September 2017 we are delighted to say we have recruited regular cohorts of Engineering Apprentices, and see this pipeline of talent as key to our succession plan.

The Programmes

Over 4 years Apprentice engineers gain the Skills, Knowledge and Behaviours required for success in their chosen career, culminating (in England) in examination for a level 3 Diploma, and the level 3 Food and Drink Maintenance Engineering Apprenticeship (FDME). In Scotland Apprentices gain a Modern Apprenticeship in Engineering. Both these programmes are multiskilled, combining maintenance and electrical tasks, in both the classroom as well as on site. In Northern Ireland Hovis has sponsored degree level engineers.

The Experience

We partner with specially selected providers to deliver these fantastic opportunities.

In England our partner providers have food specific process facilities, to deliver the nationally recognised Food and Drink aspects of the qualification. For periods of time Apprentices may also stay in Halls of Residence during their college blocks, gaining a full student experience. In Scotland our training provider delivers the Modern Apprenticeship framework.

Apprentices spend time at college each year, working with tutors in order to master concepts, and gain an introduction to key engineering skills. This is then cemented with periods of on-site learning, in the workshop and in the bakery with their experienced business mentors.

Our Apprentices tell us this is a great alternative to University, gaining a salary as well as practical training, which will set them up for a future career. 


We are delighted with the very high quality of training these programmes have delivered, and the qualification success our Apprentices achieve. Hovis Apprentices have also achieved student of the year recognition from their colleges, as well as being finalists in National Apprentice Award competitions.

Quote from National Engineering Apprentice Mentor

"The selection criteria we apply has given us very strong candidates, and the quality of the grades our apprentices achieve shows that the process we have in place is working. It's good to see their development from start to finish, and their growing confidence, every day is a learning opportunity. A large part of mentoring is listening to Apprentices, and helping them to develop in the areas they find most challenging."

Asta: 3rd year Engineering Apprentice

What motivated you to undertake the Apprenticeship in Engineering?

I was really ready to study again, having been working in Manufacturing for some years. The earn-while-you-learn option was the best one for me, it allowed me to learn new skills while working and putting the learning into practice.

I was always interested in Engineering. I love solving problems - that's my thing! I’m always asking questions to get to where I need to be next. My experience of working in the food industry to date was good, but when there was a problem with the kit I had to call the engineer to fix it. I wanted to be able to fix it myself. There is a tremendous feeling of pride and satisfaction in completing the job yourself, and it's even better when someone else is proud of you too. The team is really supportive of me and I feel very appreciated in the engineering role.

Has it met your expectations?

Yes, it has, in fact, it has exceeded them. I thought I would like the theory, and I expected it to be interesting, but we also get the opportunity to put our learning into practice at college, and at work too. 

What have been your highlights so far?

The practical jobs really put everything into perspective. I can get into the detail of how things really work, and what my impact on the product we produce for our consumers is. Specifically, I really enjoy the programming side of things. The sense of satisfaction I got was brilliant, I love it when I can get something to work properly, especially when it’s complicated.

The best bit for me is when I’m called on to a breakdown. Lots of things can happen all at once, and it massively increases your knowledge. I really like that the Apprentices are involved in the day-to-day work of the department, we learn from the whole team, as well as our mentors, who are really helpful. 

Gary: 3rd year Engineering Apprentice

What motivated you to undertake the Apprenticeship in Engineering?

My name is Gary and I am in the 3rd year of my “Food and Drink Maintenance Engineering” Apprenticeship at Hovis Bradford. I had been considering a change in my career for some time, and finally, I took the plunge in my mid 30’s, moving from people management to a more hands-on engineering role. 

Has it met your expectations?

All I can say now is, I wish I had done it sooner! The Apprenticeship scheme is really fantastic, allowing me to train in a new role while maintaining a good income.  I love learning new skills and knowledge, both when I’m at site with my mentors and the Engineering team, and also while at college with the tutors and functional experts. I feel I have a fantastic support network available too, who are in frequent contact and can help with both the Apprenticeship content as well as anything pastoral. 

I’ve been involved in a number of engineering projects with the other Apprentices on site,  the best one so far has been the making of an electrical panel training area. The panel will be used for Apprentices and Engineers to gain specific electrical knowledge and practice skills. The panel replicates systems used in our industry. 

What have been your highlights so far?

As an Apprentice team, we had to design the area and build everything up from scratch. We learnt so much from it and gained many new skills, such as: how to read electrical drawings, installing cables and trunking, fitting, and wiring various components and programming PLCs. The finished panel drives a series of electrical motors, which all perform different functions. It’s something we are very proud of.

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