Apprenticeships have had a great cultural balancing impact on the adult education sector, not least in terms of gender split. In recent years, there were actually slightly more women starting apprenticeships than men. Nevertheless, it has been pointed out that male apprentices still occupy a wider range of sectors than their female counterparts, suggesting an imbalance in terms of the apprenticeship options made available to women. This is something we’re acutely aware of at Nestlé and, as such, are keen to celebrate the achievements of our female apprentices, who operate across a broad range of industrial specialisms.

So, without further ado, here’s a quick introduction to six outstanding women currently developing their careers in Nestlé apprenticeships.

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Emily Rowlands, Level 6 Chartered Management Degree Apprenticeship

Katie Jones, Level 3 Food & Drink Engineering Apprenticeship

Jenny Milnes, Level 6 Digital Marketing Degree Apprenticeship

Louise Bowes, Level 4 Finance Apprenticeship

Abbie Scargill, Level 5 HR Apprenticeship

Eloise Longhurst, Level 6 Chartered Management Degree Apprenticeship

Emily Rowlands, Level 6 Chartered Management Degree Apprenticeship

An offer from Durham University to study Law wasn’t enough to sway Emily from her chosen career path with Nestlé, after she completed her A Levels in English Lit., Business Studies and Sociology. In fact, she suggests, the going-to-university option never stood a chance.

“It was an easy choice to go with Nestlé,” she says. “In the long-term, the benefits 100 per cent outweighed university in terms of where I see my career headed. I loved sixth form but, by the end, I felt ready to put my knowledge to the test in a real business and gain first-hand experience while also getting a degree!”

Experience is exactly what she’s being given on the Chartered Management Degree Apprenticeship (CMDA), too, with the opportunity to see multiple functions within the company. “Nestlé is such a broad business, so the fact that I can rotate throughout placements and gain a strong knowledge of all of them really excites me,” she tells us.

Katie Jones, Level 3 Food & Drink Engineering Apprenticeship

Already an accomplished professional before she began her apprenticeship at Nestlé, Katie was a secondary teacher who decided to pursue her dream of become a Food & Drink Engineer. Her sights are now set firmly on a Front Line Manager role and whatever further opportunities arise during her structured progression.

“The most exciting thing, for me, has been the opportunity to completely change my career path while also receiving a salary,” she says. “Nestlé is a global company that really looks after its employees. So, once you have your qualification and have passed your apprenticeship, the sky is the limit, here.”

Jenny Milnes, Level 6 Digital Marketing Degree Apprenticeship

While studying Law, Psychology and Geography at college, Jenny realised she was a visual learner who learned by doing. So, when she completed her studies, it was this aspect of the Digital Marketing Degree Apprenticeship that appealed to her.

“An important factor in choosing the company was they had the capacity to support me,” she says. “Nestlé being such a large organisation reassured me that they have the resources and knowledge to really help me out and let me learn from the best. In terms of marketing, the idea of marketing products that I know and trust was very appealing—I’ve always had Nestlé products in my house.”

She cites the learning curve of adjusting to business language and understanding the various roles that people did as her biggest challenges to date and says she feels her work is, “being noticed and having a positive impact on the brand.”

Louise Bowes, Level 4 Finance Apprenticeship

The combination of employee support, sustainable outlook and future development potential was what attracted former A Level student Louise to the Nestlé Finance Apprenticeship. With an ambition to become a Finance specialist after she attains her Level 4 Professional Accounting/Tax Technical qualification she aims to, eventually, see multiple sides of the business so she can keep learning new ways of working and supporting categories.

“As a new starter, it can be so easy avoid discussing worries and concerns so as not to leave a bad impression [with your manager],” she says. “The thing is, they’ve all been in your shoes and—even if they don’t necessarily work in your specific area—will want to give you all the support they can.”

Abbie Scargill, Level 5 HR Apprenticeship

Having graduated from York St John University with a degree in Film & TV Production, Abbie found that career opportunities in her chosen field weren’t as forthcoming as she’d first hoped when starting out on the degree. This led her to reflect on her core motivations and what she wanted to get out of life.

“I realised that what I really loved was being able to collaborate and make a difference,” she says, “and I realised that I am at my happiest when helping other people. This is what led me to the HR Apprenticeship. Some people would consider an apprenticeship to be a step back from a degree—this is a myth! It’s not about making tea; it’s about making an impact. You are given responsibility from day one and the chance to put the skills you learn into practice.”

Having completed her apprenticeship, Abbie was offered (“and was happy to accept”) the role of Marketing Recruitment Specialist and tells us that she’s inspired by the passionate team with whom she collaborates daily.

Eloise Longhurst, Level 6 Chartered Management Degree Apprenticeship

Currently working on marketing Nestlé brand Dentalife as her first rotation in the CMDA, Eloise joined Nestlé after completing her A Levels. She knew that going to university full-time wasn’t for her and was keen to gain practical experience of the business world—yet, at the same time, she was certain she wanted to keep learning.

“Before I applied for the degree apprenticeship at Nestlé,” she says, “I did some research on the company. There were a few things that really appealed to me—the company culture, their work on sustainability and their global 2030 ambition to help 50 million children lead healthier lives.”

She emphatically tells us that now is a great time to be a woman in business and cites the Nestlé 2019 Gender Acceleration Plan as a reason why Diversity & Inclusion is particularly great at Nestlé.

“The company aims to increase the proportion of women in senior executive positions to 30% by the end of 2022,” she says. “They also have gender inclusion programmes, which you can get involved in through the company and help to make a difference.”

Looking for something else to read? See our article on Escaping the Cycle of Low Income with an Apprenticeship.


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