Wirral apprentices graduate to make Unilever history Back

Wirral apprentices graduate to make Unilever history

Three Port Sunlight apprentices have made history with foods and personal products group Unilever becoming the first to complete Unilever's R&D Apprenticeship after graduating from the University of Liverpool.

Emma Brown, from Ellesmere Port, Josh Carew from Chester and Hannah Dufton-Kelly from Bebington, joined Unilever’s R&D Higher Apprenticeship scheme in September, 2010, after completing their A-levels.

Port Sunlight was Unilever’s first site to introduce R&D Apprenticeships, but following its success more apprentices have been taken on in Port Sunlight and in the company’s two other R&D sites in Leeds and Bedfordshire.

Over the past four years, Emma, Josh and Hannah have worked as part of R&D teams responsible for the latest innovation in hair care, personal care, laundry and homecare, working on brands like Dove, Persil and Sure.

While gaining on-the-job experience they were also studying, initially at the Wirral Metropolitan College and then in the University of Liverpool’s Chemistry Department from where they have just graduated with Bachelor of Science Honours degrees in Chemistry.

Their hard work has paid off with all three achieving outstanding results, with a degree and four years of work experience under their belt, all while remaining debt-free, and being given full-time roles.

In addition to Josh, Emma and Hannah, Unilever Port Sunlight R&D has since recruited another nine chemistry apprentices who are now at various stages of their apprenticeship programme.

And the recruiting team is now involved in the interview process for the September 2014 intake, which will see four new apprentices arrive in new disciplines  of packaging design and microbiology.

Cameron Jones, Port Sunlight site leader, said: “This is a proud moment for us all. Apprentices are a big part of our exciting plans to further develop talent in engineering and science in the region.”

Hannah Dufton-Kelly, said: “The last four years have been the most challenging, yet rewarding of my life. The scheme has enabled me to develop, not only academically, but also my confidence, too.”