Scottish Daily Mail
The sweet side of life as an apprentice Willy Wonka
THE confectionery industry offers a sweet career.
Grant Thomas, 25, says: ‘I’ve always been a chocolate-lover, and after working on the Easter egg production line for Mondelez in Bournville, I got a taste for confectionery production and applied for the Mondelez manufacturing apprenticeship scheme.’
Now he is the inline lead for the Cadbury’s Roses and Heroes units, responsible for ensuring that the production lines run smoothly.
‘I lead four operators, and we have to be fast when changing over from one product to the other, and ensuring that the right product is ready in time. It’s a high-speed line so it can be fast-paced work.’
However, he says: ‘It’s very rewarding to see products on the shelves that are made in Bournville and to know that I am part of that production process.
‘Everyone recognises them, and it’s a heritage brand, so it’s good to be a part of that.’
For others thinking of getting into confectionery or food manufacturing, he advises: ‘An apprenticeship like mine can lead to a wide variety of roles in areas such as quality control or project management, so there are lots of potential career pathways.’
Sarah Salter, early careers talent acquisition specialist at Mondelez International, says: ‘We’re looking for ambitious individuals to work in a fast-paced and constantly-changing environment making snacks including Cadbury, Maynards Bassetts and Ritz.
‘We foster a culture in which people believe in each other and want to grow together, where you’re given the chance to lead and have your ideas heard.
‘No matter what your career stage, we have a development programme to suit you, from our graduate programme to apprenticeships and
internships.’ (See careers.mondelezinternational.com/europe). Food and drink manufacturing is a fast-growing sector, expected to have generated another 109,000 jobs by 2022.
Average wages in the food sector are £24,990 (£33,663 in the drinks sector) and average salaries are rising faster in food and drink than in any other manufacturing sector.