Canned food firm woos apprentices amid growth plans

By Rod Addy contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Vocational education, Canning

Princes aims to grow its production output in the UK and overseas
Princes aims to grow its production output in the UK and overseas
Princes is recruiting 18 engineering apprentices for its two UK manufacturing facilities, which complements longer term plans to grow output.

The company processes soft drinks at its factories in Eden Valley, Cumbria and Manchester and produces canned vegetables and soups at its plant in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire. 

“It’s an ambitious business, looking to continue to increase volumes through its production sites and significant growth in year-on-year performance,”​ a Princes spokesman told FoodManufacture.co.uk. He said it was “deepening manufacturing operations and not just in the UK”.

The recruitment campaign was a conscious effort to build its in-house engineering capabilities, going against the flow of many food businesses, which outsource such roles, he added. 

NVQ Level 3​ 

Six roles are already available, with the firm looking to create a further 12 in 2014 and 2015, he said. Princes aims to train the apprentices to NVQ Level 3 standards. Cut off point for applications to the scheme is June 28. 

The apprenticeships follow Princes’ introduction of various training schemes and roles at the end of 2012, including a paid internship scheme and an extension of the company’s existing graduate training scheme. 

“We are committed to investing in the skills of our employees so they can grow alongside our business,”​ said Princes corporate relations director Ruth Simpson. 

‘Tip of the iceberg’

Simpson said the creation of the apprenticeships were the tip of the iceberg for the business.

“Apprenticeships represent a great opportunity for people to learn a new trade while giving businesses like ours an opportunity to share and transfer key skills. 

“As our group continues to grow, we expect to create more new career opportunities like these.”​ 

Although Princes remains tight-lipped about precise growth targets, it is known to be acquisitive, having bought an Italian tomato processing firm​ in January 2012 and Premier Foods’ canning operations​ in July 2011. 

As a result of its recent development, it now claims to be the UK’s largest supplier of canned food and the third largest supplier of soft drinks.

It now employs 6,000 people globally.

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