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An Apprentice Food Technologist Story: Olivia Weston

Meet Olivia Weston, a recent apprentice who studied and successfully completed her FDQ Level 3 Food Technologist apprenticeship and End-point Assessment.

About Olivia

Olivia, grew up in Doncaster, and has always had a keen interest in the food industry, regularly baking for her friends and family.

Amongst her other hobbies, Olivia loves to travel, relishing the opportunity to visit new countries and experience different cultures, however she is always very happy to return home to her dog, Penny.

How did Olivia get into the food industry?

With her love of baking, Olivia originally intended to go to college to train to be a Pastry Chef, but during the summer break between completing school and starting college, Olivia successfully interviewed for the role of a General Operative at ABP Doncaster.

Olivia excelled in the position and was quickly promoted to a Quality Auditor within the technical department.

Despite not initially thinking about a career at ABP when she left school, Olivia has really relished working at ABP Doncaster and gaining a deeper understanding of all aspects of food production.

Why did Olivia choose an apprenticeship?

After starting the position in the technical team, Olivia began studying for her FDQ Level 3 Food Technologist apprenticeship journey.

When asked about her chosen route, Olivia said, “I find that I work best as a practical learner, so getting that first-hand experience was invaluable for me. It was an important choice for me, as working in a large business allows me to network and make personal connections, which will hopefully present further opportunities for me in the industry.”

What challenges did Olivia face during her apprenticeship?

The transition from school to the working world is a big change of pace, but it has been an experience that Olivia has benefitted from.

“I found that being thrown in at the deep end has helped expand my industry knowledge and develop my skills quickly” Olivia said.

She cited her training experience with Linden as a key factor in helping her to build a support network within the industry.

What are some of the main rewards, skills, or knowledge that Olivia has learned during her apprenticeship?

Over her apprenticeship, Olivia has developed her confidence, communication, and her knowledge of the industry. She said “The course has expanded my industry knowledge through my exposure to different departments at site, such as production, continuous improvement, and even finance! Having that understanding of their responsibilities has helped me understand how they link in with the food safety and quality functions in technical terms and how I can help them, as well as how they can help me.”


Were there any strengths that Olivia didn't know she had that she gained during her apprenticeship?

Over the course of the apprenticeship, Olivia developed strengths she didn’t know she had, in problem solving, adaptability, and project management. When asked about these skills, she said “These all proved to be very valuable when carrying out technical investigations and dealing with various day-to-day challenges.”

Overall, how did Olivia find her apprenticeship and End-point Assessment experience?

Olivia described her journey with training centre Linden Management, employer ABP Doncaster, and EPAO FDQ as “invaluable for her professional and personal development." She also went on to add, “I received great support from FDQ during the End-point Assessment period, and I felt comfortable approaching my EPA manager with any queries I had about the assessment.”

Now that Olivia has completed her apprenticeship, what are her plans for the future? 

As her FDQ feature comes to an end, her career and professional progression continue. Olivia told FDQ, “Now that I have completed my apprenticeship, I have stepped into the role of Technical Process Developer at site. One of my main responsibilities is maintaining the link between new product development and the technical team to ensure all due diligence supporting documentation is in place, which the Food Technologist apprenticeship has developed me well for. I want to continue to expand my skill set and grow further as a member of the technical team.”


We thank Olivia for sharing her story with us, and FDQ wishes her nothing but continued success in the future!



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