Bournville second year apprentice, Matthew Mason, spent a day in London meeting with the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Elizabeth Truss, and the Skills Minister, Nick Boles to share his experience of being an apprentice at Mondelēz UK.
I have only been to London once before so it was great to pass by some of the amazing sites such as Big Ben on my way to the Apprenticeship Roundtable which was held in Westminster.
It was a great experience to meet with two of the Prime Minister’s direct reports and business leaders for the food and drink industry to tell them about the amazing apprenticeship programme we have at Mondelēz. I was able to tell them how much responsibility, training and support we get given and just how motivating this is to all 55 apprentices across our UK business. I was so pleased that the Minister listened to my concerns around the lack of information about apprenticeships in schools, as I believe it is important that we talk about the benefits of apprenticeship programs at an early stage.
I feel very proud to have been able to make a difference when it comes to the image of apprenticeships as I enjoy my job a lot and hope many other school and college leavers can have the same great experience as me.
What I have gained from my apprenticeship
Over the two years of my apprenticeship I have gained many key skills. Foremost the idea of a fully functioning working world inside of a manufacturing environment. I have developed so much personally with my communication skills, confidence and motivation. From studying Performing Engineering Operations I have gone from having not much practical knowledge to being able to apply my academic knowledge to real life practical situations.
The opportunities and experience I’ve gained from being an apprentice are brilliant as well. Beside my visit to London, I have visited numerous schools and several seminars to give an overview of our programs and share my experience and advice.
My advice to others is usually - do what makes you happy! Find the skill that you excel at and at the same time enjoy, focus on it, make something of it and then keep going at it. For me an apprenticeship is the best route to grasp the working world early on, earning whilst learning, which I believe is becoming more and more important. Education and training at the same time is the best of both worlds!
Why a Manufacturing Apprenticeship?
I have always had an interest in manufacturing and food production. I’m actually the third generation of Mason’s working at the home of Cadbury in Bournville. My father worked here for 37 years as an Engineer/Fitter in the factory and was also very heavily involved in the apprenticeship scheme a couple of years before I joined, he is now retired after so many years’ service. My granddad also worked in the factory, I do believe heat one point was Department Manager leading on to Factory Manager, and I intend to make a long lasting successful career within Manufacturing just as they did.
Manufacturing Apprentice, Bournville UK