Lucy Swain—Level 4 Associate Project Manager apprentice at Food Innovations Ltd
“My trainer has been so supportive I couldn’t have done it without her.”
“I work for the purchasing department for Food Innovations, we supply home baking kits to major UK retailers including Asda, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Tesco. We manufacture them on site. My job mainly involves sourcing raw materials which takes the form of multiple projects.
Within a team of four, I undertake research, then contact various companies to assess if they are able to provide the material I am looking for to match our specifications. I have to determine if the correct accreditation is present and if they can meet the price point I am after.
We also prepare the costings. To prospective Project Manager apprentices I would say don’t give up. Throughout my apprenticeship there were some tough challenges that I’ll be open and honest and say that I struggled with. It was also a challenge to map some of the knowledge areas in to my role and make the relevant connections. Definitely stick at it, because when it comes to writing the portfolio you realise how everything links into the job role, and this is very rewarding and confidence building, and don’t be nervous going into the End Point Assessment. When you’re told you have to do a presentation with questions it is daunting but when I met my examiner the conversation just flowed. My advice would be try not to panic – you will know what you’re speaking about because of all the training you have had. Also reflect on how you would improve and do things differently when you’re talking about what you’ve done.
I am thankful for a really supportive employer and line manager. My trainer was really good too – really supportive. She even offered to do sessions on a Saturday to help me revise for my exam, which I passed first time and achieved a Merit in the overall apprenticeship.”
“As my apprenticeship progressed I’ve been given more responsibility, including my own portfolio of suppliers to manage. It has been great having my own suppliers because it means I have to manage the supplier, build a business relationship and conduct business negotiations. I now also manage people on site while carrying out projects. During my waste management project I also managed important stakeholders.”