At Samworth Brothers we place great emphasis on helping our people grow their skills and improve their qualifications so they can achieve their full potential.
Everyone has the opportunity to access training and development to help develop their careers. That’s because we believe only those companies with real learning cultures can adapt and prosper in an age of fast and constant change. Here are some examples of how our training programmes encourage learning and advancement.
HGV driver programme
Samworth Brothers Supply Chain runs a scheme whereby staff who currently work in the company’s bakeries or warehouses can apply to train as an HGV driver. It also has a separate scheme, called Car to Lorry, specifically for new entrants who have never worked at Samworth Brothers before.
Laura Farnsworth was selected from 80 potential candidates to join Samworth Brothers’ Car to Lorry programme. “I always wanted to drive articulated LGVs (large goods vehicles) but had been prohibited from pursuing this dream because of the cost of training (typically in excess of £3,000),” said Laura. “When I saw the Samworth Brothers Supply Chain Academy advert offering the opportunity to train on the programme, I jumped at the chance to apply.”
The Car to Lorry programme does more than just get candidates their professional licences. The Academy is passionate about making drivers the best in the industry and develops drivers’ skills beyond licence acquisition, as well as providing an extensive mentoring programme. This enables drivers to build their confidence and experience to take on more challenging runs.
And it pays off. Laura is a winner of the prestigious Microlise Driver Awards award where she was named ‘Young Driver of the Year’.
Food & Drink Engineering Maintenance (FDEM) programme
At the beginning of 2019 we introduced a Food & Drink Maintenance Engineer (FDEM) programme as we realised we needed to develop our own multi-skilled engineers in-house.
The rationale for our decision was that the National Skills Academy for Food & Drink, together with industry partners, had recently launched a food and drink industry engineering apprenticeship which had resulted in a new set of standards. So we worked hard during 2018 to understand these new apprenticeship standards, to scope our own requirements, and to work closely with our chosen partner (Leicester College).
We welcomed our first group of nine apprentices, who work over five Samworth Brothers sites, in January. Some are recent school leavers and so new to Group and some are existing staff. They are currently following a robust agenda, undertaking a four-year Food & Drink Maintenance Engineer programme.
“After taking my GCSEs I applied to the FDEM apprenticeship, as I am interested in automation and production and wanted hands-on experience. I am looking forward to learning how machines work so I can help make a difference to the factory.”
FDEM Apprentice, Kettleby Foods
“I applied to this apprenticeship because I really wanted to gain full engineering qualifications. I am very glad to have this opportunity to develop my skills as it will really help me with my career.”
FDEM Apprentice, Melton Foods
‘Best Training Initiative’ award
In 2018, the Samworth Brothers Graduate Training Scheme scooped the ‘Best Training Initiative’ award at the 2018 Food Management Today Industry Awards. The award recognises businesses that greatly invest in the education and development of their staff.
Specifically designed to develop our business leaders of the future, the Samworth Brothers scheme provides a wide breadth of on the job work experience, challenge and responsibility, whilst ensuring our graduate trainees emerge with well-rounded business knowledge and embark on their careers with a fantastic flying start.
Degree level apprenticeship
Samworth Brothers launched a Degree Apprenticeship programme in September 2018, to help us develop our leaders of the future across operational and technical functions. The three-year programme is being run in partnership with Sheffield Hallam University and our first four recruits are currently gaining practical learning through on-the-job placements at different Samworth Brothers sites. This is underpinned by theoretical learning provided by Sheffield Hallam.
All our successful degree apprentices are fully supported and funded in their studies by Samworth Brothers. Apprentices who take the operational stream will be working towards a Chartered Manager Degree (BA Hons) qualification. Technical apprentices will study to gain a degree (BSc) in Food Science.