Meet Our Apprentices

With National Apprenticeship Week in February we showcase some of our Samworth Brothers apprentices. We encourage a culture of opportunity and learning where our people can gain skills and qualifications to achieve their full potential.

Discover stories from our current Samworth Brothers apprentices from across the Group.


Engineering skills

“I’m training to be an electrical and mechanical engineer which means I get to learn both aspects of engineering. My four-year apprenticeship involves one day a week at college where I do all types of practical and theory work. At the moment, for example, I’m learning welding. The rest of the week I am at Bradgate Bakery where I am teamed with an engineer, learning about all kinds of engineering problems.

Once I have taken my exams, I will gain a Level 3 qualification as a Food & Drink Maintenance Engineer. I’ve discovered that the most important thing for anyone taking an apprenticeship is to work hard, pay attention and asks lots of questions. You’ve also got to be  interested in learning because there’s a huge amount of knowledge to take in over the course of four years.”

Role: Apprentice Engineer
Location: Leicester
Apprenticeship: Electrical and Mechanical Engineering


New opportunities

“After finishing my A levels in June last year, I joined Samworth Brothers in September as a Chartered Manager Degree Apprentice. I would say that 80% of my learning is on the job and 20% is spent either at university or shadowing other roles.
I am currently in a placement with Samworth Brothers Supply Chain and, for me, a typical week consists of planning transport needs for shunts for our different bakeries across Leicestershire, planning equipment collections, and booking in deliveries to our retail customers.

I’m really enjoying all the different opportunities I am getting to develop my communications skills and to learn effective time management. I’m also going into college and presenting to large groups of students, which is enabling me to develop both my confidence and my presentation skills.”

Role: Higher Level Apprentice
Location: Leicester
Apprenticeship: Chartered Manager Degree


On-the-job learning

“I joined Samworth Brothers in 2012 and began my apprenticeship in Management in Food Manufacturing in May 2018. The programme is helping me to develop a whole set of new skills such as how to manage people effectively, how to lead projects and how to plan team work. Most of the learning is on-the-job, but we also have regular group sessions with a tutor. One of the aspects about this programme that I appreciate is being able to spend classroom time with others. It’s a great opportunity to learn from each other, to exchange ideas and debate topics.

If you are offered it, I’d definitely recommend taking the opportunity to become an apprentice. From a personal point of view, I’m gaining a huge amount of knowledge that will help me progress in my career here at Samworth Brothers.”

Role: High Care Team Leader
Location: Leicester
Apprenticeship: Management in Food Manufacturing


Formal qualification

“I am responsible for the day-to-day running of the Cornwall Bakery’s raw materials store. As part of this I ensure we adhere to technical standards, to safety rules and to environmental regulations.
When I was transferred from Packing to Stores, I felt I needed some logistics qualification as this was a brand new area for me. I wanted something formalised to help fill the gaps in my knowledge. My
apprenticeship has been mainly on-the-job, learning about logistics from my colleagues within the Cornwall Bakery.

This means it’s been a project-based course, where I undertake assignments and am assessed while at work, but I have also taken certain modules, such as IT and Maths, in college. And the good news
is I have just successfully completed my City & Guilds Level 3 qualification in Logistics!”

Role: Stores Controller
Location: Cornwall
Apprenticeship: Logistics


Earn as you learn

“I joined Samworth Brothers in 2018 as a school leaver, having never done any engineering before I started on this programme. For me, being an apprentice is a great opportunity, because you get to learn a trade and earn a living at the same time.

I’ve learned huge amounts in my first year as an apprentice. For example, I know how to control and maintain most of the machines used here in the bakery. I’m also learning how to fix them when things go wrong. The skilled team of engineers based here are my teachers and I also spend one day a week in college.

At the end of my four years, I will have a Level 3 qualification in electrical and mechanical engineering as a Food & Drink Maintenance Engineer. That means I’ll be qualified to undertake a multi-skilled engineering role.”

Role: Apprentice Engineer
Location: Leicester
Apprenticeship: Electrical and Mechanical Engineering


Widening horizons

“As a degree apprentice, I am gaining so much more industry experience, training and knowledge than if I were doing this course as a full-time student. Plus, I’m graded on my coursework, so I don’t have to take any exams!

Samworth Brothers really helps their apprentices to thrive. For example, I am able to go on all kinds of courses, visits, site tours and so forth. This gives me the ability to open my horizons to many roles and is helping to upskill me to be a professional within the industry. I also love the independence I am given, allowing me to prioritise work and plan my time effectively.

Then, of course, there’s the added benefit of a salary which, at age 18, allows me to be financially independent. Apprentices are no longer a plan B and shouldn’t be viewed as a back-up if you can’t get into uni.”

Role: Group Food Technical Degree Apprentice
Location: Leicester
Apprenticeship: Food Technical Degree


Fast-paced environment

“My apprenticeship began in January 2019 and will continue until September 2020, at which point I will get a Level 5 apprenticeship award in Operational Management. I work in the Process Development department which is a fast-paced environment where we trial lots of new product ideas for different customers.

The majority of my apprenticeship is on-the-job learning but I do have some training courses that take place off site and some course work to complete – all of which will count towards my final qualification.

I’m being given the opportunity to learn new skills, gain new experiences and to develop my confidence. Along the way, I’m discovering that it’s important to take all the opportunities that come my way and not to worry about how many questions I ask!”

Role: Technical Graduate
Location: Melton Mowbray
Apprenticeship: Operational Management


Career advancement

“When I joined Samworth Brothers in 2006, I was a production operative. From there, I progressed through the ranks to Area Manager. In March 2019 I started the three-year Leadership & Management Development Programme which is about 80% on-the-job learning.

The programme is helping me to develop a whole set of new skills and teaching me how to lead and manage people effectively, as well as how to get the best out of your team. I’m also learning about finance, project management, operational management and self-management, and other topics related to management and leading.

I’m able to apply all these useful skills I’m learning every day in my job. Once I have finished the apprenticeship, I hope to progress within the Distribution area. The next natural step for me would be to progress into an Operations Manager role.”

Role: Area Manager Coldcall Distribution
Location: Leicester
Apprenticeship: Leadership & Management Development