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Food technician

School food technicians help ensure food technology lessons run smoothly and efficiently.

What’s involved

Some of the work you may be expected to do would be:

  • Preparing and clearing away materials and equipment 
  • Assisting teaching staff with demonstration lessons and practicals
  • Making arrangements for maintenance and repair services to equipment 
  • Assisting in the maintenance of health and safety standards
  • Assisting in the development of lesson plans
  • Contribute to the planning, development and organisation of systems/procedures/policies
  • Promoting healthy eating
  • Maintaining stock and breakage records, catalogues and user manuals
  • Ordering, receiving and accounting for new stock and equipment

Skills and experience you’ll need

  • experience of preparing food
  • to enjoy working with young people
  • to be self-motivated

Entry requirements

It is up to schools and local authorities to decide what qualifications and experience applicants need to have, so it is important to check locally. Some may employ people on the basis of their experience and potential alone. Others may require a qualification. At entry level, employers will look for: a foundation certificate in health and safety in the workplace, a foundation/certificate in food hygiene or a vocational qualification in hospitality.

The following qualifications are available for those not yet employed in the role:

  • Level 2 Award in Support Work in Schools
  • Level 3 Award in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools

However, these awards are solely theory-based, without requiring a placement in a school, so it is important to check with the school or local authority whether they would accept the qualification. You can read more about these qualifications here.

Training and development

Some food technicians may be interested in becoming teaching assistants and could take qualifications like:

  • Level 3 Award in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools
  • Level 3 Certificate Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools
  • Level 3 Diploma in Specialist Support for Teaching and Learning in School

These qualifications are available at local colleges and through apprenticeships. To gain the certificate and diploma you would be assessed at work, so your job would need to include responsibilities suited to each qualification.

If you need more help speak to the person at work responsible for your career development or your union learning representative.

Useful links

Have a look at the technician role profiles under the specialist and technical job family to find out more about different roles you could work at.

Institute of Food Science and Technology

Children's Food Trust

For more information in Scotland, contact Skills Development Scotland

In Northern Ireland contact Careers Service Northern Ireland

In Wales / Cymru contact Careers Wales