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The Watercress Company look to harvest apprentices
A SUCCESSFUL Dorset firm is looking for a new crop of talent to emerge after launching an apprenticeship scheme.
The Watercress Company, which has its headquarters at Waddock Cross near Dorchester, is planning to engage the services of at least four apprentices over the next two years in a bid to bring some fresh ideas into the company.
The business has been one of the county’s success stories over recent years and has grown to the extent where it now has a turnover of around £14million a year and supplies 75 per cent of British watercress.
With an experienced and loyal band of staff, managing director Tom Amery said the apprenticeship scheme would offer an opportunity to bring in some new ideas as well as giving an opportunity to young people to work in a dynamic, rapidly evolving industry.
The apprentices will spend six months working in the sales and distribution side of the company before moving on to three other placements of their choice to allow them to gain different experiences across all areas.
Mr Amery said: “The apprentice will effectively get an opportunity to experience the entire business before they finally get placed at the end of the two years in whatever role is relevant.”
He added: “The problem is there are not any courses in the UK that can give staff the education needed to work at The Watercress Company, we are in an innovation based business where so many of our ideas are brought together in house.
“We are building equipment and procedures which are totally unique to this business.”
The scheme will be run in partnership with Sparsholt College in Hampshire, with the apprentices spending one day a week there and picking up a formal qualification in the process.
Mr Amery stressed that he was not seeking to take on apprentices as a way of having lower paid staff as they would receive competitive remuneration and he is hoping they go on to have long and successful careers with The Watercress Company.
Lynne Ronaldson, who is helping to run the scheme, said she is herself a good example of the many varies roles available at the company as she has worked in a number of positions from sales to accounts.
Mr Amery added: “It’s all about trying to work out what staff enjoy, what motivates them and what their skills are.”
Anyone interested in the scheme can find out more at thewatercresscompany.co.uk.
THE Watercress Company is also looking for a new addition to its team for its latest venture into the spicy world of wasabi.
After three years of development and trials the company officially launched its wasabi operation last year and the product received the approval of some of the most respected kitchens in Europe.
The resulting increase in interest means the company is now looking for an assistant product manager to join the team.
For more information about the growing wasabi operation visit thewasabi company.co.uk.
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