Thatchers Cider has won a national award, the prestigious “IGD Award for Employability”, for its Young Talent Programme. The Thatchers Young Talent Programme is in its first full year and has just seen 17 apprentices and graduates start work with the Somerset-based cidermaker. Thatchers is delivering high-quality, inspirational work experience and development opportunities, preparing people for work in this world-class industry. IGD is a national research and training charity at the heart of the food and grocery industry.

Martin Thatcher, fourth generation cidermaker at Thatchers says, “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.”

Emma Cox, training coordinator at Thatchers adds, “We started from a blank sheet of paper, and in just twelve months by working with local schools, colleges and universities we have developed and compiled an apprenticeship and graduate programme that 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, said: “Already reaching over 10,000 young people, 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.”

[Photo: Martin Thatcher, centre, with Emma Cox, centre left, together with some of the new starters in the Thatchers Young Talent programme]