1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
Trainee Dairy Technologist, this involves all aspects of dairy, from milking cows on the farm right through to packing the finished product at the end. working in the Laboratory checking for bugs and other nasty's this job has it all.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Currently based at Arla Foods Taw Valley, North Tawton Devon. Whilst Studying Dairy Technology as an EDEN Student. The aim is to develop the relevant skills and the understanding of the dairy industry. Training is completed at Reaseheath college in Nantwich, where I have covered such modules as Dairy Chemistry, Dairy Microbiology, Food and Dairy safety And Milk and Dairy Derivatives respectfully achieving a merit for the first year. With the 2nd year commencing December. I have spent the past 6 months working on shift in various departments, starting in milk reception gaining the comprehensive knowledge of the department to working in the Dairy in all areas to the cheese technician role where I spent several weeks shadowing. And finally working in whey ingredients where you can specialise in Membrane technology, Evaporation and Spray Drying.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
the programme in overall is brilliant, some days are better than others. Some days it really takes it out of you and you want to give up, but most days are brilliant, working with the staff good laugh easy to talk to and helpful, at university the guys and girls on the course are friends for ever, we are all in this togehter and we all enjoy it togehter.
4. How valued do you feel by Arla Foods?
From day 1 Arla make you feel like a valued member of staff, trust is a big thing for Arla and its great to be given the trust that comes with the level of tasks you get given.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
On paper the structure is perfect, but life is never straight forward. At Uni some days are complete cock ups lecturers not attending lectures on time (this particular lecturer has been sacked) some lessons have been double booked, some days unfortunately back at site you do get forgotten about but this just gives you more time to work on assignments (win win personally)
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
Ask and you get. pretty simple and straight forward ask for help they will facilitate you. I wasn't very good at asking for extra help in my 1st year but i've now learnt the biggest and best thing just ask. you'll be surprised at home many people in the lecture hall don't understand the same thing you don't understand but are afraid of feeling stupid if they ask.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Arla 10/10 for help. they steer you in the right direction and try let you stand on your own two feet but always will be their to help and give guidance and facilitate you.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
for an aprenticeship £16k is a win win, fuel expenses cover the mileage getting to university and back in the block weeks up there (having to drive from devon to cheshire is a long old journey)
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Yes and no, depending on where you are based seems to have a big effect on what opportunities outside of work. leeds having a gym and clubs etc. devon sponser my local rugby team that i play for.
9. Would you recommend Arla Foods to a friend?
With Arla it's not just a job or apprenticeship but its a career. It is giving you the chance to grow as a professional and gain a degree.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Arla Foods?
Be honest, do some research on the company before hand and the university, be invested with in the job before you commit.
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