Five apprentices from College of West Anglia’s (CWA) Wisbech campus are the first ever cohort nationwide to achieve the Level 3 Diploma in Food and Drink Engineering Maintenance (FDEM) and complete their End-Point Assessments (EPAs), meaning they can qualify and finish their apprenticeships.
All five apprentices work at Princes Foods, while studying at the college for around 20% of each week. Up and down the country there are over 200 apprenticeships on the new standard, which began four years ago. CWA was instrumental in developing this apprenticeship programme.
CWA are recognised as an Industry Approved training provider and form part of the National Skills Academy for Food & Drink’s provider network.
The three-year apprenticeship standard covered a wide range of subjects from higher level maths, thermodynamics, welding, machining and electrics to set the apprentices up with the skills and knowledge necessary for a successful career within the food and drink industry, culminating in their EPA. As part of each apprentice's EPA, they were required to create, plan and present a major project, sit a knowledge exam and undergo practical observations on-site at Princes.
Apprentice Fraser Bertie (23) achieved a merit in his EPA and has been working at Princes Edible Oils in Belvedere as a Multiskilled Maintenance Engineer for the last four years. He said:
“The apprenticeship was hard work, but definitely worth doing. Both Princes and CWA were very supportive throughout and would always work with you to help you to achieve the most you could.”
Apprentice Niall Ellery (21) achieved an overall merit in his City and Guilds qualification and currently works at Princes’ Long Sutton site as a Single Skilled Engineer.
Other apprentices who have completed the standard include Aidan Campbell (23) and Natasha Morgan (24) who both work at Princes’ Wisbech site, while Kieran Upson (20) works alongside Niall at the company’s Long Sutton site as a Single Skilled Engineer.
CWA Principal, David Pomfret, said:
“We are extremely proud of all that our FDEM apprentices have achieved in the last three years. Not only are they the first ever cohort of apprentices nationwide to complete this brand-new standard, but the fact that three of our apprentices have achieved merits in their EPAs is testament to their hard work and commitment to the apprenticeship programme, our partnership with Princes Foods and the quality of the learning provision at the college.”
Course Director of the FDEM Apprenticeship, Stuart Day-Coombes, said:
“It is a particularly difficult apprenticeship standard to pass and our FDEM apprentices have worked extremely hard throughout the duration of their apprenticeships. Their achievement is even greater as they took their EPAs after the lockdown period and still passed with flying colours. They should be extremely proud of themselves and all have bright futures ahead of them with Princes Foods.”
Programme Manager of Engineering at CWA’s Wisbech Campus, Alan Seeley, said:
“We were delighted in being able to be involved with the creation of the apprenticeship standard. We have a strong working relationship with Princes Foods and we hope many more apprentices will leave us to become valued professionals within the industry.”