Wigan & Leigh College is delighted to have been awarded approved provider status with the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink (NSAFD).

To gain approval for this coveted status, the college had to pass rigorous vetting from industry experts at the NSAFD and a number of national food and drink businesses. The approval process recognised the college’s ability to deliver the high standards required and acknowledged that the training programmes offered by the college delivered real benefits to employers in the sector.

Wigan & Leigh College is the only skills provider in Greater Manchester and just the second in the North West region to have achieved this status.

Head of Apprenticeships, Sarah Boyd said: “We are delighted to join the National Skills Academy. Our accreditation provides a real opportunity to work jointly with the NASFD and our employer partners to meet the skills need of this industry.”

The college has invested heavily to develop this specialist strand of its engineering manufacturing provision and has been guided and supported by local employer Kraft Heinz.

Partnership with Kraft Heinz has seen the expansion of apprenticeship programmes on offer, the development of a bespoke traineeship programme for care leavers and an industry designed higher level programme for the company’s engineers.

Over the last year the college has also expanded training opportunities with local employers such as AB World Foods, Food Pro and Greenhalgh’s and it is hoped that the new accreditation will attract a wider range of employers to the borough for skills training.

Wigan & Leigh College Principal, Anna Dawe said: “This accreditation adds another specialism offered through our Engineering Centre of Excellence. This is the fruition of excellent employer partnership working and provides a much needed specialist skills centre for the North West.”

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