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Jam-packed with talent

Duerr’s inaugural apprentice promoted to the company’s youngest Food Manufacturing Operative

Duerr’s, the UK’s oldest independent jam maker, is hailing the success of its apprenticeship scheme after its first graduate qualified for a fast-track promotion.

Matthew Gannon, aged 20, from Altrincham has been appointed as the Wythenshawe company’s youngest Food Manufacturing Operative after completing his training.

Matthew, who left school with GCSEs and an NVQ qualification in engineering, has spent the last two years gaining diverse production experience in quality assurance, ingredient preparation, product formulation and processing and machine operation across both of Duerr’s Wythenshawe sites. He has also gained a level 2 NVQ in Food Manufacture from Reaseheath College in Nantwich.

His new role will see him become part of a skilled team responsible for the manufacture of a vast number of products. Food manufacturing is a very responsible profession as there are tight controls which need to be exercised at all times. All staff are responsible for the good manufacturing practises required to ensure Duerr’s remain at Green and A grade level demanded by the retailers we supply to. Matthew will continue structured training as part of his new job role, working towards his Level 3 NVQ qualification.

Duerr’s apprenticeship scheme was established in 2011 specifically to nurture local talent. After the scheme’s successful launch, it has extended its capacity to include two engineering and a development technician apprentices. All roles are sourced from the local area to maintain the company’s investment in the region.

Matthew’s appointment marks a year of investment in talent within the company whose employees now total 216, the highest number in Duerr’s history.

Richard Duerr, Sales and Marketing Director said: “Duerr’s is a leading manufacturer. That requires us to have the best and the brightest coming into the industry. We are firm believers in home grown talent like Matthew and his appointment today is a testament to a programme designed to develop the next generation of jam making talent.”

Duerr’s has a proud history of home-grown talent in the business being as it is in the hands of the great, great, grandchildren of founder Frederick Duerr. Duerr’s has seen generations of families come through the factory gates; Father and sons, mothers and daughters also work within the organisation as well as brothers, sisters and two sets of twins!

Duerr’s additionally invests in a dedicated CSR programme to support local communities. Most recently it helped raise £100,000 to transform Wythenshawe Hospital’s Children Outpatient department and since 2000 it has raised more than £525,000 for charity. The latest benefactor is Place2Be, which provides essential in-school counselling services to vulnerable children nationwide. Its patron the Duchess of Cambridge recently visited Wythenshawe’s Willows Primary School to launch a new counselling programme.