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Apprentices step up

Apprentices at one of Shropshire’s biggest food companies are building their skills and climbing the career ladder, with a helping hand from Telford College of Arts and Technology. 

ABP Food Group has just put another four students through the level two ILM Team Leading apprenticeship programme – and they are now following this up by moving onto the level three Management programme. 

The company has also committed to sending another group of apprentices to TCAT, before the Government’s new apprenticeship levy scheme comes into force in May.

ABP Food Group, one of Europe’s leading food processors, has bases in Shrewsbury and Ellesmere and works with a network of over 35,000 farmers. It contributes more than £1 billion a year into rural economies across the UK.

Graeme MacLeod, ABP technical manager, said: “TCAT has offered a fantastic service to ABP, reacting to the needs of the company really well. We can see the skills learnt at TCAT coming through in the work the students are doing at our company. 

“Paul Yeomans has been a fantastic assessor; he has tremendous technical knowledge and has always been well prepared. TCAT has also been adaptable and able to be flexible in its working shift patterns, which has been a big help for us.” 

He added: “The ILM Team Leading apprenticeship that these students have completed will qualify them much better to apply for management posts at ABP - we are investing in their futures and providing them with a structure to progress with the company. 

“The TCAT model has worked really well for this programme, giving the students the opportunity to get professional qualifications in their current roles at the company. 

“We are really impressed with the way TCAT have planned and delivered this course, and we look forwards to working on the level three management apprenticeship when it starts soon.” 

The four ABP apprentices who have achieved their level two ILM certificate, with a helping hand from TCAT, are Aneta Obacz from Wellington, Shrewsbury trio Wojciech Orzel, Tadas Savickas, and Johnnie Ashley.

TCAT tutor Paul Yeomans said: “The ILM course is for aspiring, new or existing team leaders who want to develop themselves as leaders and managers.

“It provides the opportunity to learn and implement core skills needed in today’s dynamic business environment, whilst also building knowledge in ICT, Mathematics and English, which are so important within the 21st century management profession.”

He added: “Jonnie is a very busy leader of the warehouse operation, who successfully leads a team to ensure the production workforce is suitably stocked with items and equipment to fulfil customer needs.

“Tadas is the leader of a dedicated team who ensure incoming raw material is within the agreed specification. He is an excellent team builder, committed to the learning and development of both himself and his team.

“Aneta leads a team of approximately 100 people, ensuring targets are met consistently for quality, hygiene, productivity, health and safety and the environment.

“And Wojciech is an ambitious, thoughtful, leader of a team that helps ensure quality standards are met and food safety is maintained to the highest possible standards. The role requires excellent communication skills and analysis of data.”

Aneta, who has worked for ABP for around six years, said: “TCAT increased my confidence in work, and I think this will help me in the future to be a good manager with knowledge about team leading and management, how to work with people and how to ensure success for the whole company.”

Picture: The ABP apprentices, from left, Tadas Savickas, Wojciech Orzel, Johnnie Ashley and Aneta Obacz.

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