EDEN Trainee Dairy Technologist at Arla Foods

Start Date:
South West
Programme Type:
Apprenticeship - Higher Level (Level 4/5)
£17,000 annually
Review Date:
April 2018

Connect with Arla Foods

Review Score

7.9 /10

1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:


The day-to-day jobs vary with the department you're based in and the work/projects that are available to you. Some days you'll find yourself catching up on assignments, some days you're barely get a break for a coffee.. Unless you're working on a long term project, no two days are the same. You're given more responsibilities in year two than first year, as we've found our feet and are able to form part of a cohesive team and colleague network.

2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?


Many - from internal training on the shop floor to external certificated qualification, we've been exposed to HACCP, Food Safety, Health and Safety, COSHH and Manual Handling. We've been involved in auditing (internal and external). Presentation of data to large groups has been a significant challenge but I have made great progress. specific skills vary by modules applied at College.

3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?


Hugely, it's challenging yet enjoyable. The work culture is OK for a factory, well run by experienced staff. Team work is a huge element of the course and one i can enjoy. The course has exceeded my expectations with regards to involvement and challenges, i've enjoyed my time on EDEN so far.

4. How valued do you feel by Arla Foods?


I feel valued by my colleagues and my team members. EDEN students are typically seen as "bottom rung" by senior staff - as is the case for all apprentices - but we have to start somewhere and build our own connections. It's easy to be used as "extre staff" so potential candidates must be prepared to get stuck in and work their way up.

5. How well organised/structured is your programme?


The structure of the program is good; each block is divided into subsections (modules) so we're focusing on a couple of topics at one time. The exams are usually all placed at the end of each block which can become a struggle with regards to planning revision and dividing your time.

6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?


We've visited once a block by a rep from college to catch up and make sure everything is ok. These meetings are a forum for both student and mentor to communicate and potential issues and/or achevements to the college. College performance is tracked and monitored here, it's good to receive feedback from college blocks to aid in goal setting.

6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?


We're assigned a manager and a mentor (sometimes this is the same person). Monthly 1 on 1 reviews are a huge help with regards to planning, goal setting and communication. The team here are always happy to accomodate requests and assistance with assignments. We're able to work in the areas that are applicable to the modules we are studying.

7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?


Starting salary is good for the course and for an Apprenticeship. We're paid back expenses for travelling to/from college and have our accomodation and meals paid for while we're there also. Our site has a subsidised canteen so daily costs are reduced - exact details will vary by site and by location.

8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?


Many - i've been involved in reprasenting Arla at many events and shows including Nantwich Cheese Show, The Skills Show and the NEC as well as local level events. Open farm sunday events are a fun way to interact with and educate the public. There's not a huge amount at my site for extra actitivies, but i enjoy playing hockey and netball in my spare time for my own teams, volunteering and raising money for charity (UWCB for Cancer research, Rock Solid for the fertility network) as well as keeping my own horses - i'm kept busy both in and outside of work!

9. Would you recommend Arla Foods to a friend?


9b. Why?

Put the work in and you will be rewarded, a solid company with many avenues for progression and opportunities to grow.

10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Arla Foods?

Be prepared to start at the bottom and work your way up - it's a very rewarding experience but also very hard work. You will be exposed to all kinds of opportunities which i reccomend you take with both hands. Take the time to learn the politics and ways of working and ensure you maintain communication with your manager/mentor.

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