The food giant, Nestlé produces over 2000 brands worldwide including some of the UK’s best loved brands – KitKat, Aero and Fruit Pastilles. The factory in nearby Fawdon is home to the famous Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles and Gums along with iconic brands such as Rolo, Munchies, Toffee Crisp and Blue Riband. Students had the chance to assist apprentices with daily maintenance tasks including machining, fabrication and fault finding – putting skills developed at TyneMet’s award winning engineering department into practice.

With a 40 year heritage in recruiting engineering apprenticeships, NESTLÉ are longstanding advocates of the benefits of apprenticeships - Phil Dodds, Technician at NESTLÉ, said: “TyneMet prepare students for the next step in the engineering sector and the apprenticeship programme we have developed in partnership with the College allows students to get a taste for the workplace and transfer the skills they have learnt at college at specialised industry standards. As an employer we are committed to building a solid workforce – what we want to highlight today is that the sky is the limit if you put your mind to it, the opportunities are endless particularly in the engineering sector. As an employee of a global company you could potentially work anywhere around the world!”

The Shadow Apprentice scheme has now been in running for two years, Phil Dodds explained; “The scheme was initially set up to allow students to get a feel for engineering. As a sustainable business – we want new ideas, new enthusiasm – they are our consumers of today and tomorrow and we need to ensure we are meeting their needs. The overall impression from students who attend is that they can relate well to our apprentices – they are a leading example that commitment, passion and a great work ethic can really get you far in the engineering sector.”

Level 3 Diploma in Engineering student, Joel Valasco, said: “Today was a glimpse into my future –seeing what is possible and where engineering can take you. Seeing theory in a practical setting was really interesting. The apprentices were all really helpful and to see people who have followed the same path is really motivating.”

Principal and Chief Executive of TyneMet College, Jon Vincent, also joined students on their engineering experience, even commandeering a welding task as part of an improvement project in one of the factory’s workshops – Phil Dodds said: “It was great to see the Principal embracing the Apprenticeship Scheme and assisting with ongoing technical development – we were all very impressed!”

Students were fascinated by the extensive facilities at NESTLÉ and the variety of skills required, Glen Mulligan studying a Level 3 Diploma in Engineering, said: “I’ve definitely gained a lot from today, it was great to put a variety of  skills into practice – it’s made me want to apply for an apprenticeship with NESTLÉ”.

Darren Rutherford said: “Today was totally different from what I expected – I was amazed to see how the machinery worked, I feel certain a career in engineering is for me – today has showed all of the great opportunities available.”

NESTLÉ are recruiting over 50 specialist apprentices nationally, if you’re interested in a varied, exciting career in engineering or one of the many apprenticeship schemes NESTLÉ has available including manufacturing, process, supply chain and IT opportunities visit: www.nestlecareers.co.uk/academy