Award finalist abattoir business reaping benefits of Apprenticeships

Posted on by karen.smith

Jessica Bradley, human resources manager at Randall Parker Foods, with apprentices at the company’s Dolwen abattoir.

Jessica Bradley, human resources manager at Randall Parker Foods, with apprentices at the company’s Dolwen abattoir.

A Mid Wales abattoir business, which is using Apprenticeships to help develop and grow a confident, skilled and committed workforce, is in contention to win a major award at the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2015.

Randall Parker Foods at Dolwen, Llanidloes, is one of three finalists shortlisted in the Medium-sized Employer of the Year category at the high profile awards ceremony to be held at the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport on Thursday, October 29.

The coveted awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of those who have exceeded expectations, shown a dynamic approach to training and demonstrated initiative, enterprise, innovation, creativity and commitment to the improvement of skills development for the Welsh economy.

Jointly organised by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW), the awards are sponsored by Pearson PLC and media partner is Media Wales. The Apprenticeship Programme, led by the Welsh Government, is supported by the European Social Fund.

Randall Parker Foods, which employs more than 110 staff and supplies meat to customers across the UK and Europe, is reaping the rewards of training and developing its employees.

“We place a high importance upon training and developing staff, seeing it as a route to employing and retaining skilled professionals who can help us strategically move forward with business development and growth,” said Jessica Bradley, the company’s human resources manager.

The company currently has 20 apprentices and plans to enlist 10 more in January. Staff from all sectors of the workforce are offered a range of training as part of the company’s ethos of lifelong learning.

Apprenticeship Frameworks vary from a Foundation Apprenticeship in Meat and Poultry Processing to a Higher Apprenticeship in Business and Administration. Flexible training tailored to the company’s needs is delivered by Cambrian Training Company of Welshpool.

Apart from creating a skilled workforce, the Apprenticeship programme has aided staff retention and boosted the company’s profile. Turnover of new recruits has fallen from 41 per cent in 2014 to 15 per cent this year.

“Committing to staff and developing them under the Apprenticeship Framework has resulted in a positive image of long term, well paid careers on offer within the business,” added Jessica.

Chris Jones, Cambrian Training Company’s head of curriculum for food manufacture, commended Randall Parker Foods for making a big commitment to developing a quality workforce by providing learning opportunities for all staff.

Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology Julie James congratulated Randall Parker Foods and the other 36 award finalists. “We have some truly exceptional learners here in Wales and the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru provide a perfect platform for us to celebrate their hard work and achievements,” she said.

“Equally important are the training providers and employers who go the extra mile to support their apprentices. Developing skilled young people is vital for our economy. The Welsh Government is committed to training programmes such as Apprenticeships but investment must be a shared responsibility with the education sector, businesses and individuals.”

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