James Mountcastle at Bakkavor

Programmes Offered: Apprenticeship - Advanced Level (Level 3) Apprenticeship - Higher Level (Level 4/5/6/7)
Industry: FMCG & Retail

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James Mountcastle

James Mountcastle

Procurement Apprentice

What function are you in, what qualification are you doing Procurement Apprentice, Spalding Salads and I am studying a CIPS qualification from Levels 3-6.

Where and what did you study? I have previously studied Business Studies at South Holland Post 16 Centre gaining 2 Distinction* and a Distinction.

What work experience did you have before joining Bakkavor? I previously worked at B&Q where I was a paint expert for 18 months.

What attracted you to Bakkavor? Were you aware of the business before? After studying business I knew I wanted to go in the business area of work. I wasn't very aware of Bakkavor and what they have to offer. Bakkavor had previously come into my college to talk about the apprenticeships they offer so I looked into their schemes further.I saw the procurement apprenticeship and liked what Bakkavor offered in regards to the degree equivalent qualification and the role so I decided to apply.

**Can you talk us through what you did or are doing on the apprentice programme? ** I am currently based at Spalding Salads where I will be for 18 months. I will then move to different sites for the next 3 years whilst working towards my CIPS qualification from levels 3-6.

What were the highlights? I have only been in my role for 6 months, but one of the highlights is me attending the Supply Chain Conference at the Hilton Hotel, Nottingham. However, just being in my position with a great team around me and earning whilst learning for a degree is the main highlight.

What's your current role? What are you responsible for? What do you do day to day? Being a procurement apprentice brings responsibility from day one. You are always being given different tasks to do and projects to work on. Such as, improve the efficiency of the business or to save the business money. One example of day to day activities I do is help keep the systems updated, such as the pricing we have for the materials we procure.

What is the best thing about working for Bakkavor? The opportunity you are given, even though you are an apprentice people still treat you like a colleague, there is lots of opportunity for progression. You are given real tasks to perform and you are able to build and improve yourself all the time. The qualifications you are working towards is a great benefit as well.

What's it like in your team? I have a team of highly experienced individuals which makes it very beneficial to work with and learn from them. They are all task minded who want to get all projects completed correctly and in time.

How would you describe the Bakkavor culture as a whole? Supportive, everyone is so friendly and helpful. Whomever you speak to they are always happy to give their help and advice on whatever you ask.

What have you done that you are most proud of in your time so far? I have worked on numerous projects which saves the business money in one way or another. However, these are still ongoing, once they are complete they will be my proudest moments so far.

Is there any advice you would give to someone thinking about applying for the Bakkavor Apprentice programme? Bakkavor is a great company to be able to work for, opportunities are here. If you want to start earning whilst learning for a highly recognised qualification there is no better place to start!

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