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Coca-Cola doubles its efforts to boost British talent

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Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) is investing more than one million pounds into its business’ apprenticeship programme this year, increasing the number of apprentices across its operations in Great Britain by more than 50%.
CCEP currently has 63 apprentices working across its supply chain, cold drinks operations and commercial operations. A further 37 will be recruited this year in the business’ largest apprenticeship recruitment drive to date, as part of an ongoing commitment to support the development of young talent and encourage a diverse workforce in Great Britain.
Seventeen apprentices will join CCEP’s supply chain and cold drinks operations teams at manufacturing sites in East Kilbride, Sidcup, Edmonton and Wakefield, as well as its Milton Keynes Technical Operations Centre and Distribution Centre in Northampton.
Further to this, the field sales apprentice intake will double to 20 this year, with outside sales reps being recruited for the Leeds, Manchester and London regions, as well as those working from CCEP’s Customer Hub in Peterborough. CCEP is reprising its field sales apprentice recruitment scheme following the success of a pilot in 2016 which saw 10 students offered year-long placements.
For the specialist field sales recruitment programme, CCEP is again working in partnership with MyKindaFuture to run a series of workshops in schools across the UK, offering skills-based exercises such as presentation and interview techniques. Successful candidates will then be invited to several Youth Event assessment days, where these core skills will be developed further with the help of specialist tutors including professional actors. At the end of the process, the stand-out applicants are selected to begin apprenticeships at CCEP.
In 2016, 97% of all student attendees stated they felt more confident about their future careers after the events. Following this success, CCEP has now extended its work with MyKindaFuture to also support its supply chain apprenticeship programme.
The first Youth Event day for the business’ Field Sales Apprenticeship Scheme took place in Leeds, London, Peterborough and Manchester throughout March.
An Vermeulen, VP of Field Sales at Coca-Cola European Partners, said: “Here at Coca-Cola European Partners we understand the importance of providing vocational training and experiences to help educate and inspire the younger generation of professionals. We are strong believers in apprenticeships as a valuable route into the business world and we are delighted to be doubling our intake of new recruits this year.”
Steve Adams, Group Director, Supply Chain Operations at Coca-Cola European Partners, said: “We are extremely excited to be launching our largest apprenticeship recruitment drive to date. We have many talented apprentices already working across our business, and it has been very rewarding to see them develop into top professionals. We look forward to welcoming our latest recruits, who will be working closely with the existing apprentices and others across the business to mentor and guide them in their new roles.”
Rt Hon Robert Halfon MP, Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills said: “National Apprenticeship Week is the highlight of the apprenticeships year – it showcases the best of the best and celebrates the positive impact apprenticeships and traineeships have on learners and employers.
“There really has never been a better time to be an apprentice. I congratulate Coca-Cola European Partners for getting involved, giving people a chance to climb up the career ladder and get on in the world of work.”

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