Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP), the largest independent bottler of Coca-Cola globally, is benefiting from its partnership with the University of the West of Scotland (UWS), through the delivery of the University’s Engineering Design & Manufacture Graduate Apprenticeship programme.
CCEP employs a workforce of 200 at its East Kilbride site and has received £32million in investment since 2017. To develop the skills required now and in the future, the business is investing in creating an engineering career pathway by expanding its apprenticeship programmes to include Graduate Apprenticeships (GAs), creating a pipeline of talent from new entrants to upskilling future leaders.
CCEP has, over a number of years, invested in supporting employees to undertake engineering Modern Apprenticeships as a vehicle for developing workforce skills. However, as a result of the recent significant financial investment in the site, coupled with the recognition that the site has an ageing workforce, site management identified the need to implement additional measures to further develop the talent pipeline and future proof the skilled workforce.
GAs were identified as offering a solution to support the business to address its needs by supporting employee skills development, embedding degree level skills and knowledge in the business and developing future leaders.
Working in partnership with UWS CCEP has, since September 2020, committed five engineers to the Engineering Design & Manufacture GA programme.
Sharon Blyfield (pictured), Head of Early Careers, Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, said: “Graduate Apprenticeships are supporting CCEP to develop the skills we need in our workforce now and in the future. The programme, developed in partnership with UWS, is tailored to meet our business needs but at the same time also delivers the technical engineering skills, knowledge and understanding required in a cutting edge production facility.
“I would encourage any employer to get involved in GAs not just to benefit their own business, but also to send out a positive message about the strength of the manufacturing sector in Scotland and that engineering is a positive career choice.”
The GA programme has brought benefits for the business and apprentices particularly through the Work Based Learning (WBL) which can be customised to the operational role and focus of each apprentice. WBL provides apprentices with opportunities to apply their academic learning in their professional practice. They identify business relevant projects which meet the academic requirements of the programme and bring tangible benefits to the business. Through their WBL, apprentices have been able to identify and analyse productivity issues, propose and implement solutions and quantify business impacts. A key focus of the WBL is on supporting projects contributing to CCEP’s 2040 net zero targets.
CCEP’s investment in its workforce through the GA programme has also sent out a positive message to the workforce, demonstrating their commitment to skills development and showcasing career development opportunities.
To find out more about the BEng (Hons) Engineering Design & Manufacture Graduate Apprenticeship visit the programme page of the UWS website or email firstname.lastname@example.org