Staff from the flagship Albert Bartlett factory in Airdrie have celebrated completing training programmes with New College Lanarkshire.
More than 20 staff attended a ceremony at the company’s headquarters on Stirling Road to reward their accomplishments.
Ten staff achieved ILM (Institute of Leadership and Management) Level 2 awards, while a further 15 staff completed a Modern Apprenticeships (MA) or SVQ in Food & Drink Processing.
New College Lanarkshire has been delivering a bespoke staff development programme for the Lanarkshire company, famous for its potatoes advertised by leading Scottish chef Andrew Fairlie, over the last 18 months.
Albert Bartlett’s Chief Operations Officer Colin Campbell told staff that he joined the company at a similar level 29 years ago and that employees can now take advantage of opportunities in America, France, Jersey and Abu Dhabi.
He said: “As a business we like to promote from within and we find our best teams come through our business, be it our graduate schemes, apprenticeship schemes or just employees coming through standard application routes.
“It’s great to see our staff being developed through training and committed to the business.”
The one-year MA in Food & Drink Processing incorporates a SVQ Level 2 in addition to training in health and safety, food hygiene, working together and essential skills.
Eileen McLaughlan, 40, from Airdrie, is a production operator who started her Modern Apprenticeship training in June 2015.
An Albert Bartlett employee for more than seven years, she said: “The greatest pleasure that I’ve taken from this is that some of my colleagues who didn’t think they could do it have achieved this and it’s built their confidence.
“I’m far more aware of my surroundings and we’re more conscious of what we’re doing.
“The training was really good and our company were very flexible with us while we were learning.”
The ILM Level 2 award, meanwhile, is designed to help staff make the transition from working in a team to leading a team.
Forklift driver and instructor Benny Feeney completed his ILM award through a ten-week course starting in September 2015.
The 48-year-old, who lives in Cambuslang, said he would consider a promoted post following his training.
He said: “What I found most interesting was what I found out about myself and what type of person I am.
“It made me personally see the bigger picture – I now see what the full department and the full warehouse are doing.
“It’s going to be really helpful in the future, I think.”
Deborah Grant, Commercial Development Manager at New College Lanarkshire, said: “It has been rewarding to hear how the training has given the learners both more confidence in their current role and in preparing them for future career progression.
“Further Albert Bartlett staff are already benefitting from the next phase of Modern Apprenticeship delivery, and we are always keen to engage with other businesses to explore joint partnership opportunities.”