Thanet Earth is celebrating some serious productivity benefits as its latest cohort of apprentices achieve their national qualification through Remit Group.
As the UK’s largest, most high-tech greenhouse complex, growing tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers, and distributing them to major retailers and farm shops across the UK; Thanet Earth, based in Birchington Kent, is a leading light in showing how apprentices can have a positive impact on a business with one learner embarking on a project to save £28,000.
So far Thanet has put 34 apprentices through various different apprenticeships with Remit, ranging from Level 2 qualifications in food industry skills to higher level apprenticeships in management.
The company has been able to put existing employees through qualifications to up-skill and build on their existing knowledge, resulting in some of the apprentices gaining promotions within the business.
Twenty-five-year-old Jake Tallent-Wing, grew up in South West London, but has spent most of his life in Thanet. Working for a local company like Thanet Earth Ltd is ideal for the former apprentice, who recently qualified thanks to Remit.
Now a Section Leader, Jake says the role can be hectic and challenging, but he wouldn’t change it.
“I love my job,” he says. “More than anything I’m so grateful for the training I’ve had from Martin at Remit, it’s been second to none. He’s not just taught me how to do the day-to-day, but how to go above and beyond, looking at LEAN principles and how to find more efficient ways of operating. I like to think I’ve been able to bring a fresh set of eyes too, looking at problems differently and finding a way to solve them.”
Born in Latvia, Sanita Skuja came to the UK ten years ago, and settled in Thanet. The 44-year-old has found a real new confidence thanks to her apprenticeship with Remit.
“I have a lot more confidence in my English since I started,” she said. “As a line leader, I can be responsible for a number of lines as I’m able to move a lot in between them all. My LEAN training has been really helpful as well, and I’ve learnt a lot through my course.
“I do now feel I can go further and would like more training in the management side of things so I can continue to progress in the company.”
The apprenticeship is carried out entirely on-site at Thanet Earth in Kent, and each apprentice gets regular visits from Remit’s apprentice development coaches.
During their training, several of the apprentices were required to complete assignments as part of their qualification, which looked for areas of improvement within the business. This led to some big cost savings for the business, which may not have been addressed without the training.
Alina Voicu completed her apprenticeship with Remit at the end of April this year. She qualified with a Level 2 nationally recognised qualification in Food Industry Skills, including Functional Skills in Maths and English. Alina now works as a Transport Clerk and is heavily involved with the logistic organisation of the company.
She said: “I have loved my apprenticeship with Remit and Martin has been so supportive. My biggest achievement during the course was when I was tasked with identifying areas of improvement in the business which resulted in me completing a cost saving project that has already saved the company more than £28,000. I had to present my project to management which was really nerve-wracking but was brilliant for my confidence and I can’t wait to present to them again at the end of the year with the annual cost savings.”
Kat Kasza has worked for Thanet Earth since 2009 and has worked her way up through the company in various roles, now working as a Quality Assurance Manager. Her role is a new position to the business and involves ensuring the company is compliant with rules, regulations and industry standards as well as preparing the company for audits throughout the year.
Kat completed her apprenticeship in Management Excellence and found this to be extremely useful in supporting her with her new management role and the challenges she may face in her position. She said: “My apprenticeship has taught me so much about management and has been so valuable to me already and I know I will be using my workbooks going forward, as and when I come across a challenging situation. I absolutely love my role, no day is ever the same and I am constantly learning.”
The apprenticeships through Remit have a focus on the industries LEAN principles which go hand in hand with Thanet Earth’s ethos and green credentials.
Thanet Earth has embraced the apprenticeship route and is set to continue with its success and offer more of its employees the fantastic opportunities and prospects these apprentices have experienced.
Sarah Quattroluni, Training Manager at Thanet Earth said: “When we started the apprenticeship programme with our employees last year, we had no idea how beneficial this was going to be, not only to the company as a whole, but to each individual member of the team who signed up.
“At Thanet Earth we really value our employees and encourage progression and development so the apprenticeships have supported with many of the teams’ development and in some cases has lead to promotions and new job roles.
“I would encourage any organisation to embrace apprenticeships as a way of up-skilling existing employees or bringing in new recruits. We look forward to the next group of apprentices achieving their qualifications next year.”
Pic features Jake Tallent-Wing and Sanita Skuja, apprentices at Thanet Earth.
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