pladis, home of McVitie’s

2018 National Winner

In partnership with the College of North West London, pladis, the global snacking company behind McVitie’s, is using its Apprenticeship Levy to deliver training to ‘Advanced Team Members’ (ATMs) at its Harlesden factory – the largest biscuit factory in Europe.

The ATM Development programme is open to employees who work on the biscuit production lines and who also have responsibility for light maintenance and troubleshooting of the production line. Employees complete NVQs in Maintenance Engineering and Installation, along with functional English, maths and ICT. Employees access higher-level engineering than would be the case in their every day jobs and many from the first cohort have gone on to take promoted posts or additional responsibilities.

Benefits to the business are wide-ranging. Staff retention among those completing the programme is very high. A stable group of staff at this level reduces costs of transition and helps in the induction and training of more junior staff. There is less pressure on the advanced engineers, as the higher–skilled ATMs are able to solve many mechanical faults, saving external repair costs and machine down-time. ATMs have also been involved in identifying long-term solutions to recurrent issues.

Learner Funsha said, “It’s a long time since I had any learning opportunities. This has made me want more and I am hoping to go on to a Level 3 engineering qualification.”

Nina Sparks, pladis, said,“By upskilling we’ve been able to unlock productivity and reshape our workforce to meet the future demands of our business.”

Tony Pope, College of North West London, said, “The scale and scope of this training programme are truly impressive. A high percentage of McVities team members are getting the opportunity to develop in their roles and broaden their skills.”