Thatchers Cider has won a national award for its young talent programme.
The cider-maker scooped the IGD Award for Employability after hiring 17 apprentices and graduates to work in the business.
IGD is a national research and training charity in the food and grocery industry.
Martin Thatcher, fourth generation cidermaker at Thatchers said: “It is a real honour to be recognised by IGD with this award for our Young Talent Programme.
"Over recent years we have found that knowledge about careers within the food and drink sector hasn’t met our needs as an emerging business, so we wanted to create our own apprenticeship programme to attract the best people and invest in training and development.”
Thatchers has been working with local schools, colleges and universities over the last 12 months to develop the progamme.
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Emma Cox, training coordinator at Thatchers, said:"[The programme] is tailored to the needs of our industry, not only helping young people start on their career path, but importantly developing the skilled workforce that as a growing company we need at Thatchers.”
Fiona Miller, head of employability and skills at IGD, added: "We were blown away by the results Thatchers is achieving after just 12 months of its Young Talent programme.
"The Thatchers team has a strong understanding of the education landscape and has developed a long-term strategy and comprehensive programme that puts the needs of young people at its heart.
"They run engaging activities for school and university students, and work collaboratively with teachers and parents, to empower young people to make informed decisions about their future.
"It’s great to see that the young talent pipeline is already building as a result, and that they work closely with other business in the region to share best practice.”