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Celebrating National Apprenticeship Week at Nestlé UK & Ireland

Alicia Gardner

To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week, we chatted to Alicia, a Commercial Apprentice, who sits in the Group Marketing Business Excellence department at Nestlé UK & Ireland.

During Alicia’s A-Level studies at college, she wasn’t sure on what she wanted to do. Rather than following the traditional route of applying to study a degree at university, which she feared could be a rushed decision and a costly mistake, she felt it would be sensible to spend some time experiencing the reality of the work place, where she’d be able to identify her individual skills set and consider career possibilities suitable for her. Alicia said:

“At the time this decision felt a little uncomfortable, as all my friends were applying to various universities to study for the next 3 years and I was about the enter the ‘unknown.’ However, on reflection, I can honestly say that not going straight to university was the best decision I have ever made. I have been fortunate enough to work in various industries over a few years to understand the world of work and what truly inspires me.”

After hours of research into various development programmes that could support her learning style, she discovered the range of schemes offered by Nestlé, including the Chartered Management Degree Apprenticeship. This opportunity to continue to work in a professional environment while gaining a BA Honours aligned perfectly with what she was looking for.

She joined the scheme in September and so far, she has been exposed to many opportunities. In October, she attended an internal One World sustainability event at Nestlé UK, inspired by One Young World, the world’s biggest and most impactful sustainability annual youth leadership summit, which gathers 2,000 young leaders from 190 countries. Alicia said:

“One World was enriching and inspiring. The event helped me to discover my passion in education and work - I strongly believe that sustainability is the most important factor in order to drive change in life and in the commercial world - if you are passionate enough, anything is possible.”

Post One World, Alicia explored opportunities to get more involved in sustainability. She, alongside delegates from the UK and Dutch markets, attended the One Young World global summit in London, and is now a One Young World Ambassador, acting as a catalyst, not only from an internal perspective, but also globally, alongside other young leaders in a vast range of sectors.

Since these two impactful events, she has made a commitment to herself. ‘To become more aware.’ So far, Alicia has not purchased anything before considering the supply chain, the environmental impacts, and the social impacts. Alicia makes it very clear that sustainability is also at the forefront of her working life, and she hopes that she will be able to continue to drive this change in years to come, while advancing in the commercial world.

Alicia’s time spent in the business environment has helped her understand her strengths, skills and learning style, allowing her to think realistically about the next steps in her career.

To find out more about Nestlé apprenticeship schemes visit: https://www.nestleacademy.co.uk/apply/