#ApprenticeshipWeek: The Summer Berry Company on MDS Training Benefits & Free Event

February 9, 2021

National Apprenticeship Week is back this month. The annual week-long celebration of all things apprenticeships highlights all the fantastic achievements being made by apprentices and employers across the UK and this year will specifically focus on how employers have adapted and stepped up to the challenges created by COVID-19.

MDS are Experts in Professional Apprenticeship Training within the Food and Fresh Produce Industry

MDS are experts in professional training within the food and fresh produce industry with over 35 years of experience. The current level 5 CMI (Chartered Management Institute) certified management training scheme is carried out through The Apprenticeship College and has been running for two years.

As well as MDS Trainees, there are currently over 42 Member employees enrolled on the scheme. Member delegates represent a range of businesses across the food and fresh produce industry such as The Summer Berry Company, G’s Fresh, Aldi, Fyffes, Del monte, Cobrey Farms and Protolan.

Despite the ongoing pandemic throwing huge hurdles at the traditional face-to-face training format, MDS and The Apprenticeship College have worked hard to maintain the usual high-quality, engaging, and interactive learning experience for Trainees and Members.

The Benefits of the Scheme

The exclusive training scheme’s benefits were demonstrated at the January #MeetTheTrainees event where MDS celebrated Trainee success on the programme. Group 45 Trainee Oliver Black received the David Bagshaw Apprenticeship Award for his efforts on the scheme.

Oliver highlighted the benefits of the training programme:

#ApprenticeshipWeek: Apprenticeship award winner Oliver Black“Exploring the full spectrum of management topics from decision making to delegation and beyond has given me an accessible tool kit. This has allowed me to conceptualise, design and respond effectively throughout my secondments on MDS. Additionally, it has provided a launching point in areas that I am yet to experience, instilling a strong foundation which will allow me to respond with confidence in the future.”

Oliver was also able to put the programme into practice during his secondment at Morrisons, “New Brexit requirements for export health certification created vast complexity and required a supply chain transformation. Acting as the project manager for Morrisons manufacturing sites, I was able to draw upon content from the Information Based Decision Making workshop to construct process flow diagrams and suggest areas of consolidation in initial scoping, reducing complexity. Utilising lessons from Change Management, Delegation and Managing Individual and Team performance workshops, I helped coach, coordinate and maintain progress across eight manufacturing sites to achieve milestones. Ultimately, Morrisons successfully generated export documents on the 31st of December and has maintained food supply.”

“A truly unique learning experience”

MDS Members are also seeing the benefits of the training made available to them through MDS. Diane Grace, HR Director at The Summer Berry Company, explained why they chose to enroll their own staff onto the programme, “We decided to enroll four of our managers and our internal Graduate Trainees on to the level 5 apprenticeship course to provide them with an opportunity to study and gain an internationally recognised qualification with the Chartered Management Institute. The group are learning skills that will help them to progress to higher levels of management. This supports our culture of investing in our employees’ development and supporting them to progress within the business.”

“We chose this programme because it offers training in a broad range of skills and throughout the programme, each delegate is assessed and works with a coach to support them. They also receive a tailored development plan, ensuring a truly unique learning experience. One clear benefit is that this programme is funded by the Apprenticeship Levy funds so there is no cost to the business. We hope that another group will commence the programme in September 2021.”

The Summer Berry Company employee Camilla Langmead started the scheme in September 2020 and is already reaping the benefits, explaining “So far the course has been extremely valuable, and I have attended workshops where I have been able to directly apply the skills to my day-to-day job. I look forward to gaining more experience, developing my knowledge, and pushing myself to reach my potential within our fast-paced industry.”

Find out more: Free Member Training Information Event

The benefits of MDS training for Members.The Apprenticeship College is holding an exclusive online event open to all MDS Members on Wednesday 17th February 2021 13:00 – 14:15. The event will explain how the programme works, the availability of the scheme to Membership and how it can be funded via the apprenticeship levy or government co-funded scheme. If you wish to attend the event or would like to find out more, please contact: Sue.burrell@mds-ltd.co.uk