Dawn-Woodcock-bannerDawn Woodcock is a Junior Technician at Mondelez International’s Sheffield site, having just completed her four year apprenticeship as an engineer.

The Taste Success campaign engages with young people via various channels to bust the myths about food and drink manufacturing and raise awareness of the good career prospects in the sector has to offer.

“Some people still hold misconceptions about the industry, particularly that it’s not a career path for women. As a young lady who’s only ever worked in engineering and manufacturing I can happily confirm that it’s quite the opposite! To forge a career in manufacturing you need a keen eye, can-do attitude and thirst for learning – and your gender plays no role in that!

“I’ve recently completed my four year apprenticeship with Mondelēz and I’m delighted I’ve secured a role at the Sheffield factory as a Junior Technician. During my apprenticeship I was able to try my hand at maintaining a range of equipment types across different departments to give me the broadest possible foundation of skills and experience. An apprenticeship is a great gateway into the working environment and for you to gain nationally recognised qualifications whilst earning a salary. It’s also great to have the expertise of colleagues around you to draw on and for me now to offer advice to the new apprentices coming through our scheme.”

Q. How did you get into engineering?
I’ve always been interested in engineering and manufacturing, even from when I was at school, and decided it was definitely something I wanted to do when I saw the range of job opportunities out there. I left school and started an electrical installation apprenticeship with a local engineering company, before moving to MondeIēz International’s sweets factory in Sheffield.

Q. What did you enjoy most about your apprenticeship?
The thing I loved most about my apprenticeship is how every day was different with lots of exciting experiences on offer. As the food manufacturing industry is changing there are lots of new skills to learn and I like the challenge that this offers. MondeIēz is always looking to innovate and create new products, meaning the machinery has to match this ambition. Our day-to-day roles are always evolving which is really exciting. It’s also really fun to know that you’re responsible for making some of the country’s best loved products, like Maynards Wine Gums and Trebor Mints.

Dawn’s top tips for aspiring apprentices:
1. Try to get as much information as possible about all of the opportunities available to you before you apply
2. Don’t be afraid to ask your potential employer questions and make sure you know exactly what is needed so that you can highlight your best attributes
3. Look into the college or training providers. Are you going to get the right qualification for you?
4. The most important thing is to choose something that you’re interested in – this will give you the drive to study and learn successfully
5. Picture your long term ambitions – where do you want to be and what steps do you need to take to get there

This blog was contributed by the Food & Drink Federation, an organisation comitted to helping consumers achieve a balanced diet, with a healthy lifestyle, informed by robust, up-to-date science.

You may also be interested in the following blogs relating to careers in food:

The Nestlé Academy
Tim Ingmire: “Unlocking STEM Potential in the UK