Apprentices from Fawdon and York have been sharing their experiences of Nestlé apprenticeships with Minister and MPs at a series of parliamentary meetings over the past month.
Nicole Chamberlain, Technical Apprentice at Fawdon, spoke at the FDF skills showcase infront of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Food and Drink Manufacturing who met to discuss how building the skills base in the food and drink sector can be a significant driver for economic growth, and the important role Government can play in helping the sector achieve its potential.
Food and Drink Federation (FDF) President Jim Moseley provided an overview of the role of skills in FDF's vision shared with government to grow the sector by 20% by 2020 and highlighted the proactive work of the industry in quadrupling the number of apprentices in the industry since the summer of 2011 and working in partnership with the National Skills Academy to launch the first food and drink engineering degree in the UK at Sheffield Hallam University.
Nicole said: “Apprenticeships were not presented as an option at school and it was only through a training course that I heard about the opportunity at Nestlé. MP's should try and help raise the profile and accessibility of apprenticeships. You get paid to train for a fantastic career, don’t run up student fees, a business invests in ensuring you have the right skills and experience to make you highly employable – what is not to like?
Business Minister Jo Swinson who was at the event said: "The food and drink industry is one of the UK's key drivers of growth and apprenticeships will help to ensure we have a pipeline of talent to meet demand in the future. Applying for funding through the Government's Employer Ownership Pilot (EOP) is also a great way of making sure the industry is getting the skills it needs."
A few days earlier Jordan Phillips, a Technical Apprentice at York represented Nestlé at The Industry Apprentice Council (IAC) which outlining its response to the government’s Richard’s Review consultation at the House of Commons.
Jordan also spoke about the importance of having the opportunity to follow an apprenticeship at the official launch of the IAC, hosted by government’s Apprenticeship Ambassador to Business Gordon Birtwistle MP.
The IAC is a group of 14 industry apprentices from leading UK manufacturing and engineering employers. Supported and funded by awarding organisations EAL and IMI Awards, the IAC gives apprentices a unique opportunity to add their voice to the national debate on vocational learning.