MDS Open Days for apprenticeship schemes

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MDS (Management Development Services) will be hosting two open days to showcase its new apprenticeship scheme and the advantages for employers paying an apprenticeship levy.

MDS, which is a unique partnership of companies that was formed 32 years ago to attract high calibre recruits with management potential into the fresh food, produce, horticulture and arable supply chain, will host a day in Cheshire on 14th February and a second in Kent on 7th March 2019. These are open to all businesses in the sector with an interest in management training and apprenticeship schemes.

Groceries Adjudicator and MDS Chair Christine Tacon will give an overview of MDS, how it develops talent and why membership works for businesses such as Aldi, Barfoots, BASF, G’s Fresh and PepsiCo International. She will also introduce the new MDS apprenticeship, now available to members’ employees.  Member companies, BASF and Chia Co, will share their own experiences of MDS training as will current and past trainees.

“MDS members fed back that they were struggling to spend their apprenticeship levy as they have to pay into it each month regardless of their spend, and that there are a limited number of organisations offering the sort of training that they need. This was an opportunity for MDS to revamp the MDS training programme to become a Level 5 Leadership and Management apprenticeship, accredited by the Chartered Management Institute,” said Ms Tacon.

“At a time when the industry is facing a huge number regulatory, environmental and political challenges, as well as the potential ongoing trend for growth by acquisition, businesses are increasingly in need of people with solid leadership experience and training who can help navigate these changes.”

The additional benefit of the apprenticeship programme, run by the Quantet Group, is that MDS members will be able to put their own staff through the MDS training programme using their apprenticeship levy.

The programme is exclusive to MDS and its members and is ideal for employees showing leadership potential. The partnership between MDS and the Quantet Group has gone a step further than the minimum standard for this qualification, as the programme covers both the requirements for the Level 5 Operations/Departmental Apprenticeship Standard plus five additional sessions to deliver skills specifically for the food & fresh produce sector.

This would usually only be offered at a significant additional cost above the levy, but MDS together with Quantet can offer this programme inclusive of all the additional courses within the set levy fee.

Interested parties should RSVP to Anna Williams, Tel 01733 66 77 53, email: For more information about the MDS graduate scheme and offering to businesses go to or please contact or 01733 66 77 53.


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