SGS Packaging Europe specialises in helping household brands to develop packaging solutions. With clients that include P&G and Coca-Cola Europe, its employees define how the packaging for household brands will look when it arrives on supermarket shelves.
The company has three offices in Hull, with a combined workforce of around 500 specialists. To reflect its commitment to training, in 2018 SGS launched the apprenticeship programme, presenting an exciting way to enter the industry and begin a fulfilling career. Taking on roles within everything from client services to artwork departments, these talented young professionals benefit from tailored in-house training, one-to-one mentoring and regular development days.
“The apprenticeship programme’s focus is to build a consistent platform that promotes the introduction and development of young people into our business,” says Nicola Ashton, who manages this training and career route. “We have a wealth of knowledge and experience within SGS and it is vital that it is not lost to the next generation of artwork operators, retouchers, designers and account managers.”
Through the programme, SGS can ensure that these skills not only remain within the business but also evolve as new technologies and ways of working emerge. Meanwhile, the apprentices are also given ownership over a series of community projects, allowing them to choose charities to support and exciting events for getting their colleagues involved. During the first year of the scheme, the chosen charities are Hull Homeless Community Project, Hull and East Yorkshire Mind, Yorkshire Cancer Research and Aaron’s Battle.
“I have found my time here to be inspirational,” says Jayden Jay, an apprentice who has completed the first year and is now progressing to Level 3. “I enjoy what I do and love working with my colleagues, who have now become close friends. The team always offers support if I hit a problem, explaining it clearly so that I can solve it myself if I encounter it again.
“When I started my apprenticeship, I had little knowledge of the trade. Coming to the end of my first year, I can confidently say that I understand the procedures within the company and I’m able to complete my tasks independently.”
The next intake will be in Birmingham as well as Hull, presenting people of any age with the opportunity to take a Level 2 qualification on the national apprenticeship wage. Following the 12-month period, those who are successful will be offered a salary increase and progress onto Level 3 for a further two years. At the end of the apprenticeship, SGS will look to take them on permanently as a full-time member of staff, earning between £17,000 and £25,000. In the process, they will have gained accredited qualifications, valuable experience, a range of life skills, and a true sense of accomplishment.
If you’re interested in apprenticeships at SGS Packaging Europe, please apply online.