Thursday, 14 December 2017


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Unite, the UK’s largest trade union, and global biscuit and confectionery company pladis have signed an Engineering Apprenticeship Agreement. 

The agreement sets the gold standard for apprenticeships; by 2020, the partnership will have enabled the recruitment of close to 50 new apprentices into engineering roles at pladis.

This UK Engineering Technician Apprenticeship Programme runs for five years and takes place across pladis’s seven sites throughout the country.

pladis produces some of the UK’s bestselling biscuits including McVitie’s Digestives, Jaffa Cakes, and Jacob’s Cream Crackers. The apprentices will receive comprehensive training in the repair and maintenance of a wide range of packaging and processing equipment, under the mentorship of highly skilled and experienced engineering employees and Unite members.  

pladis will exclusively consult with Unite on all matters regarding its engineering technician apprentices, according to the agreement.

Neil Smith, head of Manufacturing HR at pladis, said: “Engineering apprentices are integral to our continuing success and we’re proud to support their development. At pladis, we continually invest in our apprentices by providing intensive and rewarding work experiences, as well as offering best-in-industry training programs. We are also proud of the network of mentors around the business who offer the insights, skills and support to help kick-start lifelong careers in this exciting industry.”  

Rhys McCarthy, national officer at Unite, said: “We believe a better skilled workforce, in better paid jobs, is good for workers, good for businesses and good for the economy. The new recruits to this program will know that Unite will continue to support them to secure a fair deal at work. It shows apprentices that Unite exists not just to protect pay, terms and conditions but in the actual quality of the training they receive and the reputation of their apprenticeship in the industry they work in.’’

On 6 April 2017, the government’s apprenticeship levy came into effect: all companies with a pay bill over GBP3m per annum are required to pay the levy which is 0.5% of their employees pay. The government's levy aims to meet their target of creating three million apprenticeships by 2020. 

Related articles: 

pladis Chooses Bosch as Its Preferred Supplier of Technology 

pladis Plans to Become the Fastest Growing Company on Biscuits and Chocolate Sector  

Pledge to increase technical apprenticeships 

State of the Industry before südback: Apprentices Remain a Problem

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