Uin Foods committed to supporting SVQs around 2009, long before the current Modern Apprenticeship Programme began. This was symbolic of a genuine commitment to support the upskilling of the workforce across all areas of work.
"We really recognise the value of our workforce,but it's not always possible to simply pay everyone more. Instead we look for a range of different ways in which we can invest in our colleagues and training and development is key."
HR Manager, Malwina Florjanczyk also stressed the value the training brings to the relatively high proportion of non-native English-speaking staff across the workforce.
"Having to communicate with the trainers helps them to become more confident with their English language skills."
Above all though, Uin Foods needs to recruit good people into the business and the commitment to training they have become known for ensures they are better placed than some when they need new staff.
The programme began with 15 places open to existing staff in production. Initial concerns that these places would be hard to fill proved unfounded and they soon doubled their ambition to 30.
The team at Uin Foods worked with Training and Quality Manager, Scott Anderson, of National Food and Drink Training (NFDT) to refine the programme. The approach was tailor made from the very beginning with Scott ensuring the learning outcomes matched the needs of the jobs in question.
"NFDT's approach to tailoring the programme made sense from the very beginning because everyone in this business has one or more KPIs [key performance indicators]. The way the programme was set up means that individual employees can relate their training to their individual KPIs and driving straight through to quality improvements."
The team at Uin Foods see benefits from all perspectives through their Modern Apprenticeship programme. They see their staff working more collaboratively within their teams and developing a more acute sense of their role within the success of the business.
"Individuals on the programme develop a wider sense of purpose in their jobs, a clearer understanding of Uin Foods own rules and procedures and a better understanding of how the food industry works in general."
Ultimately the programme is about making Uin Foods a better business to work in, and a better manufacturer of high-quality products.
"It makes us, as a management team, more confident that our workforce is in control of everything we do from start to finish on the production line."
The programme has been refined over time to ensure it continues to meet workflow and job requirements. Alongside that, NFDT's training team have developed their own knowledge and occupational competence of the procedures, practices and expectations in Uin Foods.
"The trainers are skilled at ensuring the learners are the ones who develop, that they are stretched and challenged rather than being led throughout their training, said John.
"For us, it's all about how well each learner develops over time," added Malwina, "and not just about reaching the end goal of the certificate, although we don't underestimate the value that our staff place on the achievement of that final award!"
Uin Foods intends to continue its commitment to Food & Drink Modern Apprenticeships. The Level 2 is now a mandatory element in all machine operator/line checker roles and the other levels offered have helped establish a clearer ladder of progression for everyone.
National Food and Drink Training (NFDT) was established in 2015 as a rebrand of Scottish Bakers training provision. This was a direct result of the strengthening of its portfolio to include lean manufacturing techniques and the delivery of the new Food Manufacturing Excellence (FME) qualifications.
National Food & Drink Training
c/o Scottish Bakers
Unit 2, Halbeath Interchange Business Park
01383 661 555