SGS Packaging Europe has three busy offices in Hull, with a combined workforce of around 500 specialists. To reflect its commitment to high-quality training, in 2018 it launched its apprenticeship programme, presenting an exciting way to enter the industry and begin a fulfilling career.
There are currently 16 apprentices working at SGS offices in The Maltings and Bridgehead Business Park. Alongside in-house training, one-to-one mentoring and regular development days, they have also been given ownership over a series of community projects taking place throughout 2019. Ranging from fundraising activities to hands-on community support, the four chosen charities benefitting from this are Hull Homeless Community Project (HHCP), Yorkshire Cancer Research, Hull and East Yorkshire Mind and Aaron’s Battle.
Since early February, the SGS apprentices have been encouraging their colleagues to donate everyday items to collection bins that were placed in the canteens on both sites. Everything donated is being handed over to HHCP to help with the organisation’s Move On project, which transitions individuals and families who have experienced homelessness into safe and comfortable independent living. After three months of SGS staff popping an extra item into their shopping trolleys, together they have accumulated dozens of products that will make a world of difference to HHCP’s service users.
“All kinds of items were donated,” says Nicola Ashton, who manages the apprenticeship programme. “They range from toiletries such as deodorant and toothbrushes, to baby wipes, canned foods, towels, cleaning products and bedding.”
Meanwhile, the apprentices have been organising a range of other activity to further support the four charities. From a promise auction where staff could bid on goods and services such as homemade cakes and dog walking sessions, to selling bags of heart-shaped sweets for Valentine’s Day, the fundraising pot is steadily growing.
Nicola adds: “They even joined HHCP for a full day to turn a dilapidated flat into a bright and welcoming home by cleaning, painting and decorating every inch of it. This was for a woman who had experienced traumatic abuse and exploitation, creating a safe environment for her to move on and start a fresh chapter.”
Andrew Smith, CEO at HHCP, is also delighted with their attitude and support: “The apprentices are at an age where they’re in a great position to better understand their place in the community. They’re becoming more aware of others around them, feeding their hunger for learning about social issues, and discovering how they can make a difference on a daily basis.”
The apprentices are now looking for local businesses that can help them to deliver additional events during 2019. If you’re interested in collaborating or donating a prize, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.