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Introducing Fine Lady Bakeries - Cherwell Business Awards Apprenticeship of the Year finalists

Congratulations to Fine Lady Bakeries Ltd in Banbury on being selected as one of our Cherwell Business Awards Apprenticeship of the Year finalists 2017! Read on to find out what makes the firm's Apprenticeships rise above the rest...

Fine Lady Bakeries produces a wide range of bakery products from its ten acre site in Banbury. Due to continued growth across the firm’s customer base, as additional purpose built bakery was opened in Manchester during 2010, giving the business both additional capacity and a far greater geographical footing. Fine Lady Bakeries produces in excess of three million loaves of bread every week and specialises in supplying own label bakery products to leading supermarkets, wholesalers and the sandwich manufacturing industry. In a market place that has become heavily dominated by large branded businesses, Fine Lady Bakeries offers something different and has built a strong reputation for delivering great products with excellent service levels throughout the UK. 

Why Apprentices?

The company found that they were struggling to recruit engineers with the necessary skills for their business and decided that the best way forward would be to grow their own talent. They employed their first Apprentices in 2012, on 4 year Advanced Apprenticeships in Engineering with Midland Group Training Services (MGTS). Five years on and Fine Lady Bakeries will shortly be celebrating their third and fourth Engineering Apprentices completing their Apprenticeships and also recruiting their next two Engineering Apprentices to start in September 2017.

They have also provided existing managers with the opportunity to undertake Advanced Apprenticeships in Management and are currently identifying further opportunities to introduce Apprenticeships into different areas of the business, such as bakery and LGV.

Part of the team

Apprentices are an integral part of the 35 strong engineering team at the Banbury site. The Engineering Manager and his senior team take an active and personal interest in the ongoing development of all Apprentices, ensuring a successful outcome for all.

They make a significant contribution to the business, working on projects to upgrade and refurbish equipment among other things, resulting in enhanced functionality and more than £50,000 savings per year in waste and downtime.

Apprentices have been successfully integrated into front line roles following a demanding Apprenticeship programme, robust skills assessment and transitional mentoring phase.

Excellent mentoring and support

4th year Apprentice Ben Ward says: “During my Apprenticeship I have gained in depth knowledge in all fields (electrical, mechanical and programmable) of equipment, machinery and systems. I have been closely mentored throughout my Apprenticeship to help me learn and understand everything that I was being exposed to in the bakery and all the jobs and work that takes place. Now I am coming to the end of my Apprenticeship, I am looking to soon become a full member of an engineering shift as an individual bringing numerous skills to work with a skilled engineering team to assist in keeping the plant operating and functioning to its full capabilities.”

Frances Lee, Employment Engagement Advisor with training provider MGTS says: “Fine Lady Bakeries is an excellent example of a company who truly believes in the process of having Apprentices. They embrace the programme, providing the Apprentice with best in class first year off the job training, providing them with a host of skills above and beyond the qualification and preparing them for entry back into the working environment. They offer competitive salaries and extensive training opportunities, providing a brilliant platform for an exciting career developing skills through a mix of practical work and academic study, paired with a mentoring system to help Apprentices reach their goals.”

Join the Fine Lady Bakeries team

Fine Lady Bakeries are currently looking for two Engineering Apprentices to join the team in September. Find out more at: https://www.findapprenticeship.service.gov.uk/apprenticeship/-86190