Celebrated apprentice meets Kate Green MP

At the age of 21, Sam Roberts is fast becoming a national role model for apprentices; not only is he the food and drink industry’s national Apprentice of the Year1, but Sam was also invited to the Houses of Parliament to speak to MPs and Peers to raise awareness of the scheme.

While at Parliament, Sam, who completed his apprenticeship at consumer goods manufacturer Unilever’s PG tips factory in Trafford Park2 as an electrical engineer, spoke to Kate Green, MP for Stretford and Urmston, about why he supports this way of learning.

Kate Green MP said, “It was fantastic to attend the event in Parliament. I was delighted to meet Sam.

“He told me how much he’s already learnt as an apprentice at Unilever, and I was very impressed to hear that he’s taking his studies forward now to obtain more qualifications.

“Sam’s story shows how valuable a good quality apprenticeship is in helping young people to develop a successful career, and why we need to do all we can to increase the number of apprenticeship opportunities.”

Sam, who has now completed his four year apprenticeship and will soon take his studies to the next level with a university degree, attended the All Party Parliamentary Food and Drink Manufacturing Group Skills Showcase to talk about how apprenticeships are helping companies to address skills shortages while giving young people a route into work.

Sam said, “I really enjoyed going to Parliament to talk about my experiences as an apprentice. Completing my apprenticeship has allowed me to gain hands-on experience working within the factory, as well as the theoretical knowledge from college. Now that I am looking towards starting university, I have a vast amount of skills that I am able to draw upon to help me in my studies, with the advantage of real-life working experience.

“Apprentices play an important part in the running of a factory and it’s such a great opportunity to learn: since finishing school, I have been working alongside fully trained and experienced engineers who have been able to pass on knowledge to me so I can learn on the job. I hope that other companies consider apprenticeships and give other young people the same opportunities as I’ve had.”

Tim Munden, VP HR, Unilever UK & Ireland, added, “We are very proud of Sam – and all of our apprentices – who are helping to raise the profile of a really valuable qualification amongst their peers, the industry and now Government too.

“Apprentices are an unparalleled way of making sure that we have the skills we need today and in the future.”

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