Apprentices are playing a key role in the successful operation of a Telford food processing company that has been in business for over 40 years.
Pickstock Telford, based at Hortonwood, supplies assured British beef products to retailers, butchers and food service professionals across Europe.
And the company enjoys a strong partnership with Telford College when it comes to finding the right kind of apprentices to join its ranks.
There are currently four Telford College apprentices on the Pickstock books – and the relationship between the college and the company is going from strength to strength.
Bradley Lunn, from Bridgnorth, is an engineering technician studying mechatronics. The 18-year-old started his course in September 2022, and has previously completed a level two diploma in engineering technologies, also at Telford College.
During his time at Pickstock, he has completed a first aid course, achieved a servicing qualification to maintain stun guns, and also achieved a forklift driving licence.
“My dad and brother are also engineers, working in the food industry as well, and I wanted to follow in their footsteps,” he said. “I wasn’t interested in university – I’ve only just left school, but I always knew what I wanted to do.”
Alfie Cole, 16, from Woodside, is also an engineering technician studying mechatronics. He joined the course straight from school and has also achieved a servicing qualification to maintain the stun guns, and completed a first aid course.
He said: “It allows you to get work, and earn at the same time as getting qualifications. I’m enjoying it a lot.”
Infrastructure technician Elliot Kelly, 20, lives in Aqueduct in Telford and is due to finish his course in just a few weeks’ time. He has completed an IT diploma in hardware previously and then progressed on to the apprenticeship course.
After Elliot started working at Pickstock and began his apprenticeship, he was so impressed that he recommended the company to his friend, Dawid Lichnerowicz who is now working there as an apprentice infrastructure technician too.
Dawid began his course in November 2021 and is due to finish in March this year. The infrastructure technician qualification has been restructured and students on this year’s new courses will become information communications technicians.
Telford College business development manager Chris Field said the team was delighted with the ongoing partnership with Pickstock Telford.
“We’ve worked with engineering manager Nick Insull at Pickstock who has earmarked more engineers to support the team for our intake in September, and we’re hoping to be able to deliver apprenticeships in even wider areas of their business.”
Nick said: “Apprentices bring a lot to our team. This is an industry where you need to be constantly bringing people through, and I strongly believe that apprenticeships are the way forward.”
Listen to Bradley and Alfie talking on the BBC Shropshire breakfast show, with Nick Insull, here
- This week is National Apprenticeship Week, celebrating the benefits of becoming or employing an apprentice. For more details about Telford College’s current apprenticeship opportunities, click here