An apprenticeship with Coca Cola is giving Northampton College students an invaluable insight into a potential career working for one of the biggest companies in the world.
The partnership has seen the global drinks giant’s largest independent bottler – Coca Cola European Partners - take on its first apprentice at its Brackmills base.
The company employs 25,000 staff who deliver a range of products including Fanta, Oasis and Schweppes to 300 million consumers across 13 countries.
Associate director of supply chain, Clare Bottle, said: “Across Great Britain we have 22 apprentices in our supply chain and in Northampton we had our first apprentice, Shemaiah Cosgrove, join us last September.
“With Shemaiah we are getting the opportunity to mould the skills and experience she has in such a way that she develops the abilities and knowledge that is important for our business.
“It’s helpful for us to be a big part of that person’s learning at an early stage of their life.”
The company has room for a staggering 63 million cans of Coke at its Northampton warehouse.
Apprentices are given the opportunity to learn a range of skills across the business, working in a host of different departments such as the stock team, the gatehouse and the quality team – where students can learn about the importance of record-keeping compliance.
Mrs Bottle said: “Working with apprenticeships is the way for our business to go and I’d recommend Northampton College to other local companies. They have a great track record of working with local employers.”
Corporate gas and electricity supplier Opus Energy has been employing apprentices from Northampton College since 2012, offering students the chance to work in one of the most progressive companies in the UK.
The Moulton Park based firm has won plaudits for its commitment to staff development and has seen 44 apprentices come through its doors, with many working their way into senior management roles.
Melanie Berman said: “We are very keen on working with the local community and offering apprenticeships is a good way of offering opportunities for job roles to local youngsters.
“They bring lots of creativity, some fresh ideas, new thinking and lots of enthusiasm. If they have got the right attitude I think that goes a long way to making the decision to take somebody on.
“As long as they have got that sort of proactivity about them and want to learn, we can bring the rest to the party and work with them on that.”
Opus Energy have used the skills and knowledge of apprentices to quickly grow the company, becoming a force to be reckoned with in a competitive industry.
Mel added: “We are very lucky to have retained many of our previous apprentices. We like to ‘grow our own’ so we have them from the beginning and then the talent stays with us right through to senior management in some cases.
“We are refreshing the apprenticeship scheme now and looking at ways to grow it some more so this is a very much a part of our future.
“We work very closely with Northampton College and we are pleased with the relationship that we have.
“We meet regularly to discuss how the scheme is going and also the college come to us and have one on ones with the apprentices themselves to see how they're getting on.”