1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am a food operations apprentice, this entails working for six months in four different departments on the York site of Nestle. I am put on a shift pattern, and work with that team for my six months, and attend daily meetings and help them reach their targets. When I first come into a department I train with someone who is signed off on the machinery, and work towards getting signed off on operating the machinery in that department. Once signed off I can work alone. I also partake in cleans. I get assessed once a month, and complete coursework, with evidence I have gathered from my job.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I gain a qualification in Level 3 Food Industry Skills. As well as this, I receive on the job training for Nestle specific programmes and also health and safety training, HACCP, food hygiene, and fire training to name but a few. I have learnt to become more confident and communicate better.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I very much enjoy this apprenticeship, some of the work can be tedious, some is great, but every team I have worked with has been fantastic, so you don't mind having a slow day when the team is so good. There is always something to do such as coursework, or cleaning and tidying, and there is always something new to learn which keeps it interesting. Nestle offers so many benefits as a company, and has exceeded my expectations.
4. How valued do you feel by Nestle?
I feel really valued, people are always happy to help if I am struggling, and to praise when something is done well. I am always included in the team, despite only being with them for six months, and they are keep to encourage involvement.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
We were the first year of this specific scheme, so initially we were a bit unsure, but as we have progressed it has become a lot easier and the training and learning department are always there for clarity. We had a thorough induction, and regular training weeks so we are kept in the loop and know where we stand. We each have a mentor should we need any further support, and our assessor. It was quite well organised, and we have a very clear understanding of what is expected of us now thanks to communication.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
On top of the training weeks we have every six months we also have an assessor come every month. This is the same person, so we are comfortable with her, and she supports us through our coursework and responds to any queries we may have. If she does not know she endeavors to find out on our behalf, which is really helpful. We have our line manager, mentor, training and learning and our assessor who we can all turn to, so we are never short of support and they are all very understanding.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
My manager is always keen to ensure that I am getting what I need out of my time in their department, both workwise, and with regards to my coursework. They make themselves approachable, so it is easy to address any issues should they come up. We have mentors who we can see on our terms, personally I have not felt the need to see mine often over the course of my apprenticeship, but when I have she has offered fair and impartial advice, and a wealth of experience.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
As someone who lives with my partner in a rented house I find that my wage covers all that is necessary (rent, bills, shopping, dog), and leaves some spare for fun, gym memberships etc. With regards to an apprenticeship the wage is very good, and better than what I have earnt in other jobs. I live within walking distance of work, and I am learning to drive as I can now afford lessons.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There are plenty of opportunities outside of work. I have participated in a charity boat race with Nestle, and helped with a charity ball also. There are fitness classes in the office building, and we have been to Rashleighs to meet other apprentices from Nestle sites in the UK. I have always worked, but fit roller derby and boxing in around work, and go to plenty of concerts.
9. Would you recommend Nestle to a friend?
I feel really valued as an employee, the teams are great to work with and there is such a variety of work available. As well as this it is well paid and there are so many opportunities to suit different people.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Nestle?
I would recommend taking your time with the application and answering questions to the best of your abilities. Have some notes to hand with what you wish to include in your application and build on that. Try not to come across as too nervous for the interview - they are really nice, but again, have a look at common interview questions and build up an idea of what to say. The assessment days just stay calm, and brush up on basic maths and English, don't rush. I'd like to have had more of an idea what the competancy tests were, but other than that it was quite good and very professional.
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