3 minutes reading time (634 words)

The Apprentice

​Personal development within a team is a key factor of most apprenticeship schemes. The current skills shortage across many industries, coupled with the apprenticeship levy, has led to a resurgence in apprenticeship schemes. Employers now have some brilliant opportunities to select some great candidates and play a key role in their development.

It makes sense - you get to train your team the way you want to!

​In 2019, we had the opportunity to work with a large food production company in developing their management and engineering apprentices as they embarked on leadership and permanent roles within the Bolton based company. Stateside Foods Ltd., part of the Freiberger Group, is a world leader in pizza production, supplying many large supermarkets and retailers. They have a clear focus on employee development with core values in place across all aspects of the company.

​We were approached by Stateside Foods' training and development team to help some of their third year apprentices. The six candidates had worked in each area of the business alongside gaining management degrees. Upon meeting with the company's training manager, we discussed their objectives in detail. Knowledge of previous training and the team's history within the company helped as we put together a bespoke development package for the group.

We liaised with our local partners in order to deliver the whole package - the training manager just had to book us!

​Behind the core values, was a very detailed outline of specific goals and objectives. With the underlying theme of helping to prepare the individuals for leadership and independent roles, we put together a five-day package to cover each objective. Following close discussion and a number of meetings to confirm their objectives, Stateside Foods' management team selected our proposed package over all other competition.

​The Five-day program was broken down as follows...

Day One: Meet and learn. Observe the team over various activities and challenges. Spend the evening reviewing and understanding each individual within and as part of the team - learning about them, their background and their personal goals.

Day Two: Working Together. Using a range of specialist and unique activities to actively force the team to work together towards a common goal. With three activities throughout the day the team had to use active communication, problem solving and leadership. We used feedback from Monday's sessions and consultation to adapt our plans and focus during the day.

Day Three: Taking Responsibility. Under instructor guidance, the individuals within the team were encouraged to take on more responsibility within each session, culminating in the planning and preparation for an expedition for the following day. The day culminated with an in-depth theory session, looking at culture within the business and the future application of skills developed during the week so far.

Day Four: Expedition. Taking on board skills developed early in the week, the team successfully completed a mountain expedition in the Lake District.

Day Five: The Challenge Day. As a cohesive team and based around the company's core values, the group took part in an extreme gorge walking challenge. This was followed by a full review of the week and personal feedback.

Given a full five days to work with the group, the changes in culture and attitude were incredible. By the end of the week, positive self and peer review had become the norm. It was clear to see a dramatic improvement in the self-confidence of individuals when presenting and working with others.

This schedule of employee development worked well to meet the objectives as presented to us by the company. What are your goals for your team? Let us help you overcome some of the challenges you face in your organisation with a fun and tailored development package.

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Sunday, 19 May 2024

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