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National Apprenticeship Week 2021 – Supporting personal development to build the future

12 February 2021

Continued personal development is an area of focus for all of our employees at British Sugar and what better way to do this than branching out to develop your career. Recently, we have been able to support two of our already established colleagues, build towards new careers within the Safety and Health team.

Jon Barry and Heather Bailey have both been with the business for several years and worked in different operational areas, from waste water treatment to Customer Supply.

Through personal development discussions and new career opportunities that have arisen within the Safety and Health team, they have both recently started a Level 7 apprenticeship, that will give them both a formal MSc qualification in Risk and Safety Management.

What’s so good about that, I hear you ask? Well, to me as a Senior Manager within the business, it means we are developing expertise from within and supporting the continual development journey of individuals well into their careers.

As I mentioned both Jon and Heather are moving across onto an apprenticeship scheme after working for the business for several years and are therefore real proof that you do not have to be 16 and starting out in your career to take this route. An apprenticeship allows individuals to achieve a formal qualification whilst also gaining valuable ‘on the job’ skills to equip them well to meet their future career aspirations. Apprenticeships also mean that the sponsoring business is building future talent and has employees with a breadth of skills.

Career paths are not fixed and can be tailored to the needs of the business, while matching an individual’s development requirements. Just because you start out in one discipline, doesn’t mean you have to stay there forever. As we move forward with newer, modern, streamlined ways of working, we can expect employees to look at changing careers more often, so why wouldn’t we want to keep and develop that talent within our business, whatever somebody’s age or current role, whether a technician, administrator or manager.

Apprenticeship opportunities are available across multiple disciplines and you don’t just do an apprenticeship when you want to become a technician or engineer. Jon and Heather are breaking ground being the first direct Safety and Health apprentices at British Sugar.

For me, apprenticeships are of real value to the individual, managers looking to ensure that talent development is at the forefront of any future career progression conversations, and of great benefit to our business. Indeed, having been an apprentice myself earlier in my own career, I know the benefits apprenticeships bring and am a keen advocate of sharing this message across British Sugar. Through supporting apprenticeship, I am confident that, as individuals and as a business, we really can build the future.


Chris Johnson

Company Health and Safety Manager

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