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Bridgwater and Taunton College and Nestle apprentice makes history with FDQ

FDQ recently caught up with apprentice Tim Salkeld to learn more about his story into the industry, his experience of his apprenticeship and the incredible skills that he’s learnt along the way. Tim is the first Food & Drink Technical Operator to have completed and passed their End-point Assessment with FDQ.


Background:

Tim recently made history becoming the first Level 3 Food & Drink Technical Operator to successfully complete their End-point Assessment with FDQ, but we want to know how did he get here? Tim, now 20 years of age, grew up in Chippenham, Wiltshire, where he found work with Cereal Partners / Nestle in a Factory in Staverton to begin his trade within their Health and Safety department. Whilst beginning his story with Nestle, a first for FDQ’s success story features, Tim is in fact a keen birdwatcher, in his free time he enjoys bird photography and going on travels to explore different places.


Getting into the Apprenticeship:

When asked about his apprenticeship opportunity Tim said “I wanted to get an apprenticeship so I applied for various vacancies across numerous sectors including manufacturing. I was lucky enough to be approached by Cereal Partners UK – I was impressed with their opportunities”. Following a successful application, Tim joined Cereal Partners to begin his Level 3 FDQ Food & Drink Technical Operator apprenticeship with Bridgwater and Taunton College.


Why did Tim think of doing an apprenticeship?

With no prior experience of working within the food industry, Tim felt the idea to become an apprentice was perfect. Speaking with Tim he said “I chose an apprenticeship because I wanted to gain work experience and knowledge of opportunities that may be available to me in the future.” – following this Tim took his opportunity to continue his academic studies in food and drink technology.


What are some of the main rewards, skills or knowledge that Tim learned during his apprenticeship?

In his own words Tim described his apprenticeship by saying “I gained in self-confidence as a result of my exposure to apprenticeship school events where I represented the company and regular meetings with other colleagues.” Tim also went on to add “my apprenticeship has given me lots of opportunities to see all the different aspects of how different departments work together towards a singular goal.” As part of his apprenticeship Tim said that he learned a lot from his apprenticeship journey including expanding his skillset, developing new and current abilities, and gaining further industry experience.


What challenges did Tim overcome?

Speaking with FDQ he found being new to his work environment, building new relationships and meeting new people daunting. However, with help and support from his Training Provider Bridgwater and Taunton College and employer Nestle, he found nothing but positive experiences. Tim describes the care and effort from both his employer and training provider as “very welcoming” and “supportive”.


Overall, how did Tim find his End-point Assessment experience? When asked Tim said “I found my apprenticeship to be a very valuable experience - I enjoyed making my improvement project for my apprenticeship - I found that FDQ were very supportive during my end-point assessment process and were extremely helpful.


Now that Tim has completed his apprenticeship, what are the plans for the future?

From being new to the industry, to completing his FDQ Level 3 End-Point Assessment for Food & Drink Technical Operator, Tim now wants to continue to grow his skillset. In his own words “Now that I have completed my apprenticeship, I have started a new job in Health and Safety where I hope to specialise my skill set.”


We’d like to thank Tim for sharing his apprenticeship experience with FDQ!

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