Meet the apprentice: Vimto Out of Home

By James Ridler contact

- Last updated on GMT

Zak Bradford (left) and Andrew Brown (right) discuss the highlights of Vimto Out of Home's apprenticeship programme
Zak Bradford (left) and Andrew Brown (right) discuss the highlights of Vimto Out of Home's apprenticeship programme

Related tags: training & recruitment

Vimto Out of Home’s Swindon Centre of Technical Excellence in Wiltshire trains its apprentices to ensure high-quality drinks dispense. Here, senior technical manager Andrew Brown and apprentice Zak Bradford explain the benefits of the scheme.

The Apprentice: ​Zak Bradford

As a technical develop-ment engineer, I support the business in all aspects of drinks dispense, through the repair, service and installation of our equipment, products and brands.

I’m responsible for the service and repair of frozen drinks machines in theme parks close to the Swindon site. At Vimto Out of Home, the mission is to ensure equipment is in ‘as new’ condition with each service. I carry out planned maintenance weekly, so that the machines never fail to provide the highest-quality slush drinks for our customers and visitors to the attractions.

I’m also involved in parts distribution and stock management to enable our field-based team to operate efficiently on a day-to-day basis.

I receive on-the-job training by buddying up with national service technicians at our customers’ premises or at our workshop, and I’m soon to start an 18-month course at Wolverhampton College.

The opportunity to gain experience through on-the-job training and come away with a relevant, useful qualification drew me to the apprenticeship. I feel like I’m hitting the ground running with my career.

The employer: ​Andrew Brown

Apprenticeships offer an opportunity to develop and train staff right at the start of their career, teaching them the specific knowledge, skills and behaviours needed to ensure we provide our customers with the highest-quality drinks dispense systems and service.

As senior technical manager, my role is to ensure the business has a best-in-class team, with the equipment knowledge and skills to deliver operational excellence through the service and installations carried out daily. Our apprentices learn all aspects of uncarbonated and carbonated frozen beverage production, along with draught soft drinks dispense systems, from supplying parts and equipment to installation and planned maintenance.

Through the scheme, designed in collaboration with the British food and beverage industry and the British Soft Drinks Association, we provide the apprentice with the skills to deliver world-class customer service alongside experience that counts towards a Level 3 qualification in drink dispense.

As the business grows and more centres open, we plan to take on more apprentices.

Related topics: People & Skills, Drinks

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