TMMX finalist celebrates apprentice success

Posted on 30 Nov 2016 by Jonny Williamson

Natures Way Foods, a finalist in this year’s The Manufacturer MX Awards Customer Focus category, has announced that its current crop of engineering apprentices has completed their programme.

Four and a half years ago, Natures Way Foods (NWF) welcomed Robbie Twyford and Charles Pearce onto its Engineering Apprentice Programme, both of which have now successfully completed the course.

Twyford and Pearce received extensive training across all three of NWF’s manufacturing sites to attain an NVQ Level 3 in Engineering Maintenance.

Established in 1994 with bagged salad production, NWF has grown to become a leading manufacturer of fresh convenient food.

TMMX Awards 2016

The elite of the UK manufacturing community came together on November 2 to celebrate The Manufacturer MX Awards 2016.

More than 850 people attended the sold out gala dinner and award ceremony, delivered in a partnership between The Manufacturer and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), which merged their respective awards programmes in 2015.

Discover the winners of all the categories, including the highly coveted Manufacturer of the Year Award 2016, here

For more information on The Manufacturer MX Awards process, click here.

The privately owned business now supplies prepared salads, prepared fruit, coleslaw, potato salad, food to go and dressed salads to some of the UK’s largest supermarkets and foodservice companies.

The apprenticeship programme was initiated by Richard Sellis, head of engineering at Natures Way Foods, who explained: “Developing the next generation of Engineers is critical to sustaining Natures Way Foods growth ambitions.

“I am extremely proud of the hard work and dedication of the apprentices and department in ensuring the scheme has, and will continue to be an over whelming success”.

NWF training partner, PETA, assisted with the selection and assessment of its apprentices and the business’ in-house mentors provided much needed guidance, support and health & safety training throughout the programme.

During the selection process the candidates were asked to design and build a catapult to launch a head of lettuce. Twyford and Pearce both demonstrated excellent creativity and problem-solving skills, as well as a desire to learn and work as a team.

Chief operating officer at Natures Way Foods Richard Parr commented: “These attitudes will set them up for success in the future and we wish them every success with their careers at Natures Way Foods.”

When asked about the best part of the course, Pearce noted that it was the support from mentors and management that made the course so valuable.

Both candidates agreed that the first set of night shifts was the most difficult adjustment, but quickly agreed that having made the adjustment they would not want to work a typical 9-5 job.