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The Corporation

Posted: 12/11/15

Amber’s award win reflects fruits of her labour

A former West Nottinghamshire College apprentice is celebrating after scooping a top award at the food manufacturing industry’s annual ‘Oscars’.

Amber proudly accepts her Young Talent of the Year award at the glittering ceremony.

Amber Wild, a print room trainee at Lincolnshire-based firm Worldwide Fruit, was named Young Talent of the Year at the Food Manufacture Excellence Awards (FMEAs) 2015 at a glittering ceremony at the Lancaster London hotel on Tuesday 3 November.  

Her achievements were recognised in front of hundreds of industry guests, as she collected the trophy from category sponsor B3 Jobs and award ceremony host, TV presenter Mark Durden-Smith.

This is the second successive year that one of the college’s apprentices has claimed the prestigious title, which celebrates the achievements of the ‘rising stars’ of food and drink manufacturing. It comes after Jodie Adcock – a production line manager and former Food and Drink Advanced Apprentice at leading chocolate company Thorntons, in Somercotes, Derbyshire – won it at last year’s awards.

Amber, of Spalding, Lincolnshire, fought-off stiff competition from fellow finalists Michael Andrew, of meat processor Tulip; Alex Barton, of meat business ABP UK; Seana Boyle, of Willowbrook Foods; Jack Hamilton, of Mash Direct; Caitlin Johnstone, of The Welsh Pantry; and Robert Williatt, of Freshpack.

The FMEA’s independent judging panel – led by Paul Wilkinson, chair of the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink – praised the 20-year-old’s powerful impact on the business that she first joined as a part-time student. She won the admiration of the judges for making a significant contribution in helping to update the Spalding firm’s labelling and printing operations.

“Mis-labelling is a key area of concern,” said one judge. “Amber has already achieved measurable success in a key area, where so many companies regularly get it wrong.”

Another judge commented: “This highly-talented new starter will go anywhere and everywhere.”

Amber recently completed an Advanced Apprenticeship in Food and Drink and the Level 3 Proficiency in Food Manufacturing Excellence Certificate at Worldwide Fruit. Her training was delivered on behalf of the college by CQM Training & Consultancy Ltd (CQM T&C).

The awards ceremony provided a double success story for the firm, which also won the prestigious Chilled, Fresh and Dairy Manufacturing Company of the Year accolade in recognition of its capital investment programme, waste-reduction plans, wide-ranging efficiency improvements and continuous improvement culture.

Sacha McCarthy, the college’s director of business development and employer engagement, said: “Many congratulations to our partners at CQM. Once again, they have demonstrated that their training delivered to employers and their apprentices has the desired impact required by industry, and continues to strive for excellence in all that they offer.

“Our extended congratulations go to Worldwide Fruit. These awards capitalise not only the success of the organisation but support the skills they build in young apprentices of the future.”     

Andy Cheshire, managing director of CQM Training & Consultancy Ltd, said: “Having trained the Young Talent winner for the second consecutive year further underlines CQM T&C’s ability to engage with, and train, young people who will be the managers of the future.

“To have Amber’s apprenticeship training recognised in such a way is a great accolade for all those involved; not just ourselves but also our partners at West Nottinghamshire College who jointly-funded the scheme with Worldwide Fruit.”

Now in their 15th year, the FMEAs – organised by William Reed Business Media’s Food Manufacture Group – have become the premier event in the food and drink manufacturing calendar.