09 March 2016

Premier Foods’ apprentice offers ‘top tips’ ahead of 2016 Apprenticeship Week

To mark National Apprenticeship Week, a Premier Foods’ apprentice is offering his words of wisdom to other young people considering the first step on the apprenticeship ladder.

We committed to double our intake of apprentices two years ago, and we now employ nearly 30 young people across all our sites working towards qualifications as mechanical, electrical and multi-skilled engineers.

Jordan Biggs, a year four multi-skilled engineering apprentice based at our Carlton bakery, passes on some of what he’s learned during his time at Premier Foods: 

1. Take the initiative. It’s up to you to show you’re capable of doing the work, that you’re keen to learn a broad range of skills, and looking for responsibility and opportunities to progress. Some apprentices I know have managed teams and been in charge of machinery upgrades worth thousands – it’s incredibly rewarding!

2. Keep focused. Companies invest time and money into their apprenticeship schemes, so if you do well, and prove yourself a valuable member of the team who goes beyond ‘just doing the job’, in most cases there’ll be full time employment after the end of the training.

3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Apprenticeships are all about learning after all. If you’re asking, you’re learning, and making the most of the time and money invested in you. At Premier Foods, each apprentice is assigned a mentor, and they’re a great source of advice and support.

4. Be flexible. You’re likely to do different jobs and work on lots of different kit before qualifying. Being an apprentice is the best time to get broad experience, as there’s plenty of time to specialise down the line. 

5. Work in the food and drink sector! I never realised how high tech the food industry can be. For example, at Carlton I help operate and maintain one of the fastest and most modern production lines in Europe, with brands I’ve grown up with and known all my life. 
Apprenticeships offer young people a unique opportunity to learn a new skill and acquire a respected qualification that can help forge a successful career. We're supporting National Apprenticeship Week and the drive to recruit talented young people to the food industry, particularly the budding engineers of the future.
David Wilkinson, Human Resources Director, Premier Foods, said: 
“We need expertise in maintaining our complex manufacturing technology to help us bring innovative products to market which meet the changing needs of our consumers. And with a shortage of engineers in our sector, we need to ensure more young people are getting into this field. We believe apprenticeships are the best way to develop the expertise we need, as they enable colleagues to earn while they learn as well as gain a valuable qualification.”

For further information please contact:
Maitland     020 7379 5151
Tom Eckersley/Rose Russell

About Premier Foods 
As one of Britain's largest food producers, Premier Foods is committed to delivering the taste the British love, with food that's made in Britain by people who understand British consumers.We supply a range of retail, wholesale, foodservice and other customers with some of Britain's best loved brands, including Ambrosia, Batchelors, Bisto, Loyd Grossman, Mr. Kipling, Oxo and Sharwood’s. Premier Foods employs around 4,000 people operating from 13 sites from across the country.

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