A groundbreaking traineeship programme at Wigan’s Kraft Heinz factory recently celebrated its successful end with new apprentices being taken on.
The Heinz plant collaborated with Wigan & Leigh College and Wigan Council to create a brand new programme to help boost career opportunities for young care leavers from across the borough.
Five of the nine youngsters who completed the programme, which started in November 2022, were invited to the college’s Centre for Advanced Technical Studies to celebrate their achievements.
The learners had the opportunity to complete approximately 180 hours work experience within the famous Kitt Green factory in sections including can production, raw goods manufacturing and sterilisation areas.
They have already started their Level 2 Food Operator apprenticeships which will last for approximately 18 months.
Kraft Heinz site director Luis Spinardi said: “I am proud we have been able to join our efforts and to see how good this collaboration can benefit the community. And hopefully you (the trainees) will all become highly skilled employers for the factory.”
Part of the traineeship involved the learners attending Wigan & Leigh College to gain their Food and Drink Careers Passport developed by the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink – an industry recognised qualification that employers within the food industry require.
College Principal Anna Dawe said: “It is good to see that a strong working partnership such as the one between Kraft Heinz, the council and the college can offer such a unique and targeted opportunity.
“For us, as a college, it’s been great to work with an employer the size and stature of Kraft Heinz and with our council. And to have the power to take these young people and see them come through the programme and for it to have worked is testament to them and everyone involved.
“They have played a huge part in this and what they have done is trailblazing for others in the future. This is a celebration of what Wigan can do.”
The celebration event was also attended by Kraft Heinz company staff mentors – who completed training provided by the college to upskill their knowledge in order to carry out the role and supervision of the learners – and Wigan Council leader David Molyneux.