Shaun takes his opportunity in his stride

As one of the leading suppliers of both chilled and frozen foods in Scotland, Strathmore Foods is proud of its family roots and heritage. With over 40 years’ experience in the food industry, the company is now employing over 130 staff at its premises in Forfar. Traditional Scottish ready meals, pies, and savoury puddings are produced for customers in sectors such as foodservice, frozen retail and chilled retail, with the most recognised of these being the chilled brand, McIntosh. The McIntosh brand is a big success for the company, as it continues to grow year-on-year, and is now ranked as one of the top food and drink brands in the country.

As part of its continued success and growth it is important for them to continually invest and train their dedicated staff at the site. Working with Intec Business Colleges, a national leading training provider with a dedicated assessor team based in Scotland, Strathmore Foods have embarked on a Modern Apprenticeship programme in Management and most recently Storage and Warehousing with a new recruit to the business, Shaun Florence.

Shaun was attracted to the position of Warehouse Assistant as he thought he would be good at this type of job as he had worked for a similar company before. He has worked with Strathmore foods for over a year now and thinks it is a good company to work for as they have given him the opportunity to do lots of training – learning about chilled, freezer and dry goods, loading and unloading of goods, recycling goods, how racking system works, gained a forklift license within the first 6 months and is currently training on the reach truck. “The best of the job is the unloading and loading, I feel that is where my strength lies as it is very fast paced and varies from day to day”.” I have recently had a pay rise as I am learning and helping with some of the computerised side of the business”

He was approached by his HR manager to ask if he wanted to do an SVQ qualification in Warehouse and Storage at a level 2 with the opportunity to progress to a Level 3. He started the SVQ in May 2013 and is enjoying doing the course –“it has made me realise I know more than I thought I did as it is a work based qualification and helps me build on my skills and abilities”

Laura Knight, Human Resources Manager comments “As a fast paced environment we needed to ensure the Modern Apprenticeship programme fitted in with our business needs. We are finding that it fits in perfectly with the programme being delivered at a pace which is attainable by the learner and not overly demanding of the company.

Our assessor is always flexible around the needs of both parties. In addition we have found that the programme is very much tailored to the learner ensuring that the training provided is at a suitable level and most appropriate to them, with communication and support paramount at all times.”

Strathmore Foods looks forward to growing and developing further its partnership with Intec Business Colleges with staff being given the opportunity to progress to Management Level 4 qualifications along with the use of Intec’s Recruitment Service to bring further young staff on board.