Apprenticeships are a key part of succession planning at award-winning West Wales meat processing company Celtica Foods which has a workforce of 58.

The Cross Hands-based business, the catering butchery division of Welsh independent food service wholesaler Castell Howell Foods, supplies customers in the food service and hospitality sector.

The company works closely with Cambrian Training Company to offer Food Industry Skills, Meat & Poultry, Food Management and Food Manufacturing Excellence Apprenticeships from Levels 2 to 4 to give employees a deeper knowledge of the meat sector.

“In 2018, the average age of the total workforce at Celtica Foods was 48, with many of the senior team leaders over the age of 50,” says Edward Morgan, the company’s corporate social responsibility and training manager. “In terms of succession, it was evident that younger individuals needed to be introduced to the business.”

Celtica Foods has trained 48 over a number of years. Recognising that people are critical to the success and growth of the business, the company has adopted change and succession plans focused on recruiting younger employees to reduce the average age of the workforce.

General manager Matthew Evans adds: “We shall be focusing much more on apprenticeships in the next couple of years as we work to reduce the average age of our workforce. Having Cambrian Training Company behind us to support butchery apprentices is very important.”

The Apprenticeship Programme in Wales is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.

Arwyn Watkins, OBE, Cambrian Training Company’s managing director, says: “Celtica Foods has demonstrated a long term commitment to the apprenticeship programme and their local community and is an advocate of apprenticeships as part of its sustainability and succession planning.”

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