Radnor Hills to train up 27 Apprentices in wider recruitment drive

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

Left to right: Pope and lead line runner Daria Konieczna from Radnor Hills with Chris Jones from Cambrian Training
Left to right: Pope and lead line runner Daria Konieczna from Radnor Hills with Chris Jones from Cambrian Training

Related tags Drinks Training & recruitment

Bottled water and soft drinks supplier Radnor Hills Water Company aims to train up 27 Apprentices this year and recruit a further 20 full-time staff.

The business, which is based at Heartsease, near Knighton, in Wales, currently employs 230 staff. It expects 25 members of staff to begin Apprenticeships with the Cambrian Training Company this year and aims to take on two engineering apprentices, trained by Hereford and Ludlow College.

In the past four years, more than 90 staff have completed apprenticeships including Food Industry Skills Level 3, Food Manufacturing Excellence Level 4 and Management Levels 4 and 5. The Apprenticeship Programme in Wales is funded by the Welsh government with support from the European Social Fund.

Kathryn Rose of Mondelēz was named Apprentice of The Year at the 2022 Food Manufacture​ Excellence Awards. Samah Rafiq at Coca-Cola Europacific Partners was highly commended in the category. Read our run down on all the award winners​.

New glass bottling line

Radnor Hills, which has an annual turnover of £50m, is making a major investment in a new glass bottling line and continues to invest in its factory, which produces an estimated eight million bottles of soft drinks a week.

It said it was also looking to recruit forklift drivers, production workers and maintenance engineers. 

General manager Dave Pope said the creation of the new jobs was part of its continued expansion. “With expected growth in all areas of the business, staff training on our highly automated lines is crucial and we will continue to work closely with Cambrian Training to achieve our targets.

'Jobs for local people'

“The company is committed to providing jobs for local people in the Knighton area. We invest in their future by giving them qualifications for the food and drink sector that support their development and help our business to grow. 

“We recruit our workforce from a 30-mile radius, but most of our employees live within  ten miles of our site. We like to give them opportunities to grow with the company by developing their skills through apprenticeships which play an important role in staff retention." 

Chris Jones, head of Cambrian Training Company’s food and drink business unit, said: “Radnor Hills is a great employer, providing real opportunities for employees to progress within the business and they are paid well.

'Growing its own staff'

“The majority of the higher management team has progressed through the company which is renowned for growing its own staff supported by apprenticeships.” 

Radnor Hills produces soft drinks 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with many employees working 12 hour shifts with four days on and four days off. 

Radnor Hills claims to be the only company in Europe that produces soft drinks in glass, Tetra Pak, PET and can formats from the same site. 

Established on his family farm at Heartsease in the 1990s by William Watkins, the business now supplies many of the largest UK wholesalers and a range of UK supermarkets.

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