Education Award 2017

The food and drink community celebrated success on 21 September 2017 as the winners of the Food and Drink Federation Awards were announced.

Weetabix Food Company

Weetabix Food Company is a major employer in Northamptonshire and building its local reputation as an employer of choice is very important to the company. A key aspect of this in 2016 was the establishment of its apprenticeship and education programme.

The key factor behind the programme was an ageing workforce, particularly in the engineering teams, and the unique skill requirements of the company. The area where the company is based is home to an active automotive sector, meaning there is competition for talented employees, particularly in engineering disciplines.

The project began in January 2016 with a consultation of important stakeholders, including unions and schools. The programme that was developed focused on engineering and manufacturing leadership, in partnership with Tresham College in Kettering. Weetabix created an educational sponsorship programme, with support from Tresham in the early stages of recruitment, and took on four apprentices for the summer of 2016.

The apprenticeship programme is part of a wider focus on inspiring young people about manufacturing, engineering, and the food industry as a whole. Weetabix has created internal mentors, as well as a number of Enterprise Advisers, who talk to local schools on industry requirements for STEM skills. The company has also taken part in a scheme for local schools to visit workplaces, called Open Doors 2016. This year, the apprenticeship programme will double its intake and they will also create a buddy system with year 1 apprentices.

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Last reviewed: 21 Sep 2016