UK SOFT drinks manufacturer Clearly Drinks is leading the way with its World Class Operator programme, which looks to nurture and train the nation’s future manufacturing talent.

The new programme, created by the Sunderland based company in partnership with Derwentside College, means that Clearly Drinks can continue to grow and develop their current fleet of frontline workers on the production line and increase the pool of highly skilled manufacturing talent both in the North East and across the UK.

The programme offers internal training to staff to create highly skilled individuals as well as offering apprentices on the job paid experience. Starting with a two-week training plan to gain an NVQ level 2 in manufacturing operations, staff and students then have the opportunity to go to college where they can work towards an NVQ level 3 in leadership.

Those candidates who successfully complete the Academy will secure a guaranteed interview, with an opportunity for employment and a competitive salary at Clearly Drinks. Those successful on securing a role will embark on a two-year program that includes formal NVQ qualifications, operational duties, continuous improvement and leadership training, reaching world class operator level.

Ian Forrester, operations director at Clearly Drinks, said: “Our programme means that we can develop the very best talent to support our nationally recognised success and it is a fantastic opportunity to recognise the people who go above and beyond in the workplace and increase capability from the ground up, it really unleashes their potential and ours.

“We are dedicated to our people and we have a commitment to retaining and investing in talent – and while this is great for the individual and the business, it also means that we are bolstering the future of UK manufacturing skills and developing the sector’s future leaders. The programme offers a clear progression path and transferrable skills as well as a solid level of technical capability for operators. People who have completed the course have said how strong the training programme is for development.

“It’s also designed for all ages, including those who might not want to go to university and instead are looking for alternative options within manufacturing that offer formal qualifications. One of our unique selling points here at Clearly Drinks is our culture and we offer continuous support to help all of our employees develop a successful career.”

To date, 6 employees are currently enrolled on the World Class Operator programme plus 4 new apprentices have joined this year. Benefits to those on the course include a structured training plan, greater development opportunities and flexibility to work across the many roles on offer.

Operator Cameron Smith said: “I’m really pleased with how the programme is going and being able to get that ‘on the job’ experience whilst earning a wage is what really got me involved.

“This programme has meant I don’t have to leave employment to develop my skills and educate myself and I would highly recommend it to others who are looking for production line work.”

For more information on Cleary Drinks’ World Class Operator programme visit: https://www.clearlydrinks.co.uk/

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