Mondelēz aims for sweet spot with Trainee Science programme

Confectionery giant Mondelēz International has launched its annual Trainee Science programme, which aims to recruit three school leavers to work and train at its Reading Science Centre.

The manufacturer of brands such as Cadbury, Oreo, Bassett’s and Kenco are looking for school leavers to fill full-time positions at RSC to research new ideas and techniques for products.

Training will last for two years and will result in the awarding of a Registered Science Technician (RSciTech), with applicants needing an A Level in Chemistry, Biology or Physics or equivalent to apply.

Additionally, students will also spend one day a week studying for relevant higher education qualifications.

Alan Gundle, director of the Mondelēz International Global Science and Technology Research Centre said there were two main drivers behind the development of the programme, which was first launched in 2013.

“Firstly, we want to give young people the opportunity to develop into a cadre of specialist technicians, with the great career prospects that this brings, without having to commit to university. Secondly, we also need to ensure we have a sustainable pipeline of R&D talent for the coming years.”

Mr Gundle added: “We’re finding it increasingly difficult to recruit people with the necessary science experience across all levels within the business. That’s why schemes like this, where driven young people can learn the ropes in the labs with our trained, expert scientists, are essential to the future of our business.”

Ethan Harris, a current trainee scientist recruited last year, said he applied to the programme after initially assuming he’d need a degree to further his long-standing interest in science, but now finds himself working on a range of research projects.

“Every day is different as we work across a broad variety of departments – I’ve been learning about techniques and analytics needed for the pharmaceutical business as well as food,” he said.

“I’m pleased that I’ve been able to channel my passion into something that’s giving me the skills and experience to make me highly employable in the future.”

James Pozzi’s interview with Steven Reilly, deputy quality manager at Mondelēz Reading, will appear on TM this week.