Employer taking on 40 apprentices

Hitchen Foods
Hitchen Foods

A major Wigan employer is set to recruit up to 40 new apprentices in 2017 as it aims to further develop the skills of enthusiastic individuals who want to embark on a new career in the food manufacturing industry.

Bakkavor Group, the parent company of Ince-based Hitchen Foods, has an apprentice scheme with vacancies nationwide and span across a variety of functional roles including engineering, manufacturing, development and HR.

Successful applicants will experience real responsibility from day one, contributing to key business activities and projects, whilst at the same time studying towards a relevant, nationally recognised qualification.

Through the scheme Bakkavor says it also focuses on the development of life skills by encouraging apprentices to get involved with local community projects and charity initiatives.

In 2016 for example, its new apprentices were given an unconventional induction at the Exotic Pet Refuge in Peterborough where they worked together with the refuge staff to build a new owl aviary and wolf enclosure from start to finish.

Proecurement apprentice Sophie Bellham said: “As an apprentice at Bakkavor, I’ve gained real hands-on experience alongside some of the most knowledgeable people in the food manufacturing sector, whilst also studying towards a qualification – the best of both worlds.

Bakkavor is very supportive with my career development within this fascinating industry and my confidence has blossomed over the last 18 months. The team I work with is always encouraging and if you want to go into the food manufacturing sector, there really is no better place.”

Human resources director Pippa Greenslade said: “We are extremely proud of our apprenticeship programme here at Bakkavor, one that has continued to grow since its successful launch five years ago.

“Apprenticeships are a great way to give young people the chance to gain real world experience and responsibility within a range of environments and we are committed to playing an active role in nurturing young talent in the food industry.”