Food and drinks sector skills council Improve wants to see employers' own training programmes recognised as part of a new framework governing the award of vocational qualifications across the industry.
The new Qualifications 'Framework for Achievement' in Food and Drink was unveiled by Improve this summer. This flexible system comprises bite-sized units, which learners can mix and match to build towards a tailor-made qualification.
Improve hopes that linking in-house training with this framework will allow for even greater flexibility and will give more scope for meeting the skills demands of specific employers and the industry as a whole.
At present, 80% of training within the food and drink sector occurs in-house, but only 15% lead to an externally accredited qualification.
"Everyone agrees that the skills provision across all industries should be more streamlined and more employer-focused," said Jack Matthews, chief executive of Improve.
"Encouraging employers to run training programmes as part of an agreed industry-wide framework, which leads to accredited qualifications, should be one key route to achieving this.
"What is more, this could be of benefit to employers on a financial level, by attracting government funding for the training they provide."