How apprenticeships develop #skillsforlife

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This Apprenticeship Week the theme is #SkillsforLife and we’re celebrating the role that apprenticeships play in helping our colleagues develop their skills and knowledge for a rewarding career. We’re highlighting the achievements of one apprentice in particular, Research & Technology Operations Technical Manager Clara Aymerich, who earned her MBA with distinction through our Tate & Lyle Sugars Apprenticeship Programme.

We currently utilise 88% of our UK Apprenticeship Levy, a levy on our annual payroll, to fund around 30 apprenticeships across departments such as IT, engineering and packing, supply chain and HR, as well as MBAs, professional courses and qualifications such as ACCA. The majority of our apprentices are current colleagues continuing their professional development by learning new #skillsforlife while they work, like Clara.

Clara was recommended for the MBA programme by John Kerr, Vice President of Research & Technology, due to her strong technical background and skills and her leadership potential. The MBA would help Clara to further develop her strategic thinking, decision-making, public speaking skills and financial acumen to position her for a senior leadership role.

Throughout the programme, Clara found the biggest challenge was finding a balance between work, study and her personal life. The key to navigating these challenges was the support she received from her supervisor, apprenticeship coach and team members. “John was involved from the beginning and always very encouraging,” said Clara. “I had to be flexible, and I was so grateful for how flexible and understanding my team members were. They also helped to proofread my work and bounce ideas around.”

“The programme is well designed to provide a good support structure, and it was encouraging to apply the knowledge I was gaining from the apprenticeship directly to the work I was doing.” Clara

Clara now serves as a manager and has a better understanding of various management styles and has gained confidence when facing challenges as a leader. Completing the programme also gave her the opportunity to explore new interests, such as model organisational structures, how they can be as efficient as possible and how knowledge can be shared throughout an organisation. “My biggest advice is to find your passion and share it with the Company so that they can support you in achieving your goals,” Clara said. “Don’t give up, because there is always support available.”

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