Five apprentices offer food for thought as they achieve national recognition

Five apprentices from the College of West Anglia’s (CWA) Wisbech campus are the first in the country to gain a nationally-recognised qualification.

The apprentices, who work at Princes Foods while studying at the college for around 20 per cent of each week, completed the Level 3 diploma in food and drink engineering maintenance (FDEM) and their end-point assessments (EPAs). This means they can qualify and finish their apprenticeships.

Apprentice Fraser Bertie achieved a merit in his EPA and has been working at Princes Edible Oils in Belvedere as a multi-skilled maintenance engineer for the last four years.

The 23-year-old 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.

Meanwhile, Kieran Upson, 20, works alongside Niall at the company’s Long Sutton site as a single-skilled engineer.

Most Read

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 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.”

Nationwide there are over 200 apprenticeships on the new standard, which began four years ago and was developed with the help of CWA who 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 range of subjects from higher level maths, thermodynamics, welding, machining and electrics.

As part of each apprentice’s end-point assessment, they were required to create, plan and present a major project, sit a knowledge exam and undergo practical observations on-site at Princes.

Stuart Day-Coombes, course director of the FDEM apprenticeship, 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.”