The firms have announced that applications are now open at several sites across the UK to coincide with National Apprenticeship Week. The schemes will offer a mixture of academic study and on-the-job training for successful applicants, according to the firms.
Soft drinks maker Britvic confirmed that it is now recruiting applicants both internally and externally for its programme, which it described as “very powerful”.
Sue Skinner, director of HR delivery, told FoodManufacture.co.uk that the firm was looking to recruit six to eight apprentices this year, mainly to work at its six manufacturing sites in the UK.
She said: “Traditionally it is very hard to find engineering workers. We make sure that the applicants learn the vital skills for our business and, realistically, we expect 100% of these to become full-time employees.
“It is a great way of bringing talent through as it allows people to gain experience while on the job. It really is a very powerful programme for us.”
Confectionery giant Nestlé, which took on 14 apprenticeships last year, is seeking to double its apprentice numbers by the end of 2012 and has now started the process at its factory in York.
Applications for the firm’s Tutbury site will also begin in May, as the firm searches for new talent to join the business in September.
Nestlé UK and Ireland Group HR director, Matt Stripe said: “At Nestlé we believe that recruiting the best people for our business is key to our continued success, which is why we launched the Nestlé Academy at the end of last year.
“The Nestlé Academy offers flexible entry points to attract people at different stages of their life and seeks to provide varied career development routes through our organisation. Apprenticeships are one of the great opportunities we offer.”
Stripe confirmed that the firm now has a total of 50 apprentices working across the business and said Nestlé is seeking to increase this number with opportunities in areas such as HR, supply chain and finance.
Meanwhile, The Forum of Private Business, an organisation that provides support to small businesses, has urged the government to simplify the national apprenticeship system to make it more “business friendly” for employers.
The Forum believes that apprenticeship schemes need to be seen as “more worthy”, with better information provided to bosses about courses and their effectiveness.
It is also urging decision-makers to incentivise small businesses that take on young people and reward those that do.
Food Manufacture, our sister title, in conjunction with the Institute of Food Science & Technology (IFST), is organising a free morning seminar at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham on Monday March 26, targeted at HR directors and managers.
The event, which takes place alongside Food and Drink Expo and Foodex shows, will include presentations from the FDF on what is being done to raise the industry's image; the National Skills Academy on new training schemes; the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, talking about the latest manufacturing apprenticeship schemes; and the IFST on a new transferable skills initiative.
There will also be presentations from leading manufacturers and young apprentices, who will give a view from the shopfloor.
Skills for a changing world of work, takes place from 9.30am until 13.00, on March 26, followed by a buffet lunch.
For more information and to secure your place at this free event, contact Hannah Rosevear on 01293 610431 or email Hannah.Rosevear@wrbm.com.