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Our People – Phoebe Millican, Manufacturing Apprentice

Apprentices are really important to us here at Weetabix as we look to inspire the next generation of manufacturing and engineering talent. We love to see our apprentices develop and in our latest blog, we’ll speak to Phoebe Millican, who has really shone for her great work in the Manufacturing Research & Development team.

What’s your role?

I am one of Weetabix’s six manufacturing apprentices, currently undertaking an NVQ in Business Improvement Techniques. I am partaking in a number of different projects inside and outside the factories – one of these includes the introduction of a new process to help our quality support leaders be even more effective when they are conducting investigations in the factories. 

How long have you been at Weetabix?

Just over a year now. I applied as I liked the idea of getting a more hands on experience within the work place through an apprenticeship, rather than going to university. 

What’s it like to work at Weetabix?

At first, working for such a big business with so many new faces was extremely daunting – but thanks to the employees and the family-like atmosphere within the business, I soon gained confidence. Opportunities for development at Weetabix are almost endless, with many different routes to choose from. I’ve particularly enjoyed being given the opportunity to lead at business conferences and careers fairs across the county.

The job also comes with many perks such as the ‘Weetaflex’ scheme that enables Weetabix employees to enjoy a range of benefits including discounts on Apple products and days out to theme parks.  

What do you most enjoy about working at Weetabix?

The most enjoyable aspect of working at Weetabix is definitely the people. There’s such a fast paced but family-like atmosphere within the business and everyone is always willing to support you whenever you need it.

When I first started with the company, I was assigned a ‘Weetabuddy’ - somebody to have regular 1 to 1’s with and contact if I had any questions. The buddy system has been really important to me, it’s given me the chance to speak to someone that understands and may have experienced exactly what I’m going through.

What opportunities have you had whilst at Weetabix?

I would have never have expected to be doing such diverse and interesting activities before starting at Weetabix.

In particular, I’ve been lucky enough to represent the apprentices of Weetabix externally on two different occasions. An article about my time as an apprentice was selected to feature in the quarterly newsletter sent to all our suppliers. I also presented at a business conference to over one hundred business owners from all over the county. This was to promote the brilliance and benefits of having an apprenticeship scheme within a business, alongside the director of the apprenticeship scheme. It’s only thanks to the support and encouragement given by my colleagues that I’ve gained the confidence to perform such a task.   

Anything you’d like to share with us about your role?

I found that during my induction, it was really helpful that it was a group session and there was a mix of people attending; from existing employees who had been promoted to new manufacturing apprentices like me. Throughout the day, all attendees took part in ice breakers and 1 to 1s with our new line managers as a way of getting to know who we’d be reporting to. Taking part in this really helped me to integrate and forced me to become more confident around new people - this has only continued to develop during my time at Weetabix.

When I first started, I was definitely viewed as a new resource and I relished the mix of work I was being given. Eventually work piled up and I started to find it a little difficult to balance this with my college studies. Now I’ve learnt it’s ok to say no and to reach a compromise. I am constantly learning new skills that will help me in the future.   

What do you love doing outside of work?

I play goal attack for the Vulcans netball team - I’m nicknamed ‘The Machine’ for my goal scoring - the highest number of goals I’ve scored in a 40-minute game is 43!

I thoroughly enjoy baking in my spare time, whether it be for my boyfriend, netball girls or Weetabix colleagues. I bake anything from cakes to breads and pastries – I’ve even been shortlisted to appear on the TV show Junior Bake Off in the past.