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Jemima Pennock joined the Nestlé team as a Manufacturing Apprentice in York after completing a degree in Sports Science. She was part of the team that developed Aero Melts in January last year. She has since moved to the Nestlé site in Halifax - the home of Quality Street - where she has been working on Continuous Improvement projects and improving her management skills.

When I graduated, I didn't have a clear idea of what I wanted to do. I thought about doing a master's degree, but the pandemic made me rethink. I wanted to keep learning new skills and was interested in food manufacturing as I am very creative and methodical thinking. An apprenticeship offered me a great way to carry on learning while also earning.   

My degree was fairly practical, and I wanted to find something where I could get stuck in straight away. I love being on the factory shopfloor and getting involved in problem solving and making everything run more efficiently.

Getting hands on with famous brands

I was part of the team that developed Aero Melts, which has probably been the standout project of my career to date. I was involved in all different stages of the process and got to learn how everything works – even how they get the bubbles in! I played an important role in the Aero launch with helping communication across shifts, writing standards and training out the new manufacturing processes. This project definitely helped me became more confident within the factory environment.

Our team had regular update meetings, where we were able to discuss our ideas which helped me become more comfortable sharing my opinions with the team. It was clear that, at Nestlé, whatever stage of your career you're at, people will always listen. 

Jemima Pennock
Jack Stafford, Alex Bracher and Jemima Pennock

We were able to develop the product in less than a year, which was really impressive. I felt a real sense of pride when I saw them on the shelf and thought to myself, "I was part of that".   

And there was regular sensory testing along the way too – who wouldn't love that?!   

Constant support and supporting others   

Within my first week my manager asked me what direction I wanted my career to go in. It showed right from the off that they really cared about my development and wanted me to succeed within Nestlé.  

Since I've moved to Halifax, I've taken on the role in the Manufacturing Excellence team who work on continuous improvements within production areas. Day-to-day, I work with all factory functions to help increase efficiency, accuracy of data capturing and factory projects to align with our Operational Master Plan.

I have also been involved with the recruiting process for new Apprentices and Graduates in technical roles. I really appreciated the responsibility and helping others who are in the same position I was in just a couple of years ago. 

If you have a give-it-a-go mindset and are willing to get stuck in from day one, I would always recommend going for an apprenticeship.