Many firms are taking the apprenticeship route predominantly to upskill their current workforce, but in addition to recruit school-leavers who deliver a recent method to problem-solving.  A string of open days and different occasions hosted by employers and studying suppliers to advertise the UK’s Nationwide Apprenticeship Week (March 4-8) comes at one of the unsure occasions for Britain’s foods and drinks producers. Brexit is threatening to drastically stem the sector’s provide of expert jap European employees, who’re unsure about future work prospects within the UK however are additionally seeing higher alternatives at house as economies enhance – the EU forecasts a GDP progress fee this yr of three per cent or extra in no less than seven former communist member states.However now nearly two years for the reason that launch of the apprenticeship levy – a tax on employers with a £3m-plus annual wage invoice which will be clawed again to cowl apprenticeship coaching prices – many firms are taking the apprenticeship route predominantly to upskill their current workforce but in addition to recruit school-leavers. Except for the important thing drivers of succession planning, workers development and retention, and boosting recruitment, employers are utilizing apprentices’ capacity to view and sometimes resolve long-standing manufacturing issues by way of recent eyes. A teenage apprentice at Leicester’s Bradgate Bakery used information evaluation to indicate that slight tweaks to nighttime and day shift patterns would make vital money financial savings with out disrupting manufacturing. An apprentice at Bakkavor, a number one producer of recent ready meals, discovered packets of prawns had been being stuffed barely above their marketed weight due to make use of of the incorrect measurement of measuring scoop – utilizing a smaller measurement corrected the issue and has saved the corporate some £30,000 a yr since 2017. In one other case, concepts from staff management apprentices employed by the sweets producer, Swizzels Matlow, have led to a largely ‘paperless workplace’ primarily based on iPads and a full-scale refurbishment and re-equipping of the corporate’s on-site studying centre.The truth is, a tradition change in direction of lowering waste, making financial savings and rising effectivity is a rising pattern amongst foods and drinks firms upskilling workers by way of apprenticeships. Based on Andy Cheshire, managing director of specialist foods and drinks coaching supplier, CQM Coaching and Consultancy, consumer firms are more and more asking for the continual enchancment methodology generally known as Lean 6 Sigma, with its emphasis on lowering waste, to be a part of apprenticeship coaching. “We’re serving to firms develop a totally new abilities set amongst these becoming a member of their apprenticeship programmes,” says Cheshire. “It’s an thrilling growth.”