Travel a bit further out of the Bristol and Bath region and you’ll find a whole host of opportunities in rural industries, from animal care to agriculture, but closer to home there’s less to choose from for our young people and yet we have a huge rural economy right here on the doorstep.

That’s why it is so exciting to learn that Thatchers Cider in North Somerset have made this brilliant career sector available to young people through a number of brand new apprenticeship vacancies working with Weston College amongst others! To find out more, we spoke to Emma Cox, Training Coordinator at Thatchers and here’s what she told us about the business and about their apprentices …

Who are Thatchers?

At Thatchers, we have been making cider since 1904 (well, not me personally), but it is a family business now in it’s fourth generation and you will often see Martin and John Thatcher going about their daily work here on Myrtle Farm in Sandford, near Winscombe, North Somerset.

Each generation of the family has brought their own positive change to Thatchers and have passed on their secrets from how bees pollinate apple blossom and looking after the 150-year-old oak vats where the cider matures, through to the art of cider making itself. We use both traditional techniques and state-of-the-art technology to create ciders that are smooth, fresh and full of flavour.

Thatchers is a family firm and everyone loves working here. To be successful, you need to be a remarkable person who gets stuff done and shares the same enthusiasm and passion for our cider and business as we do.

Cider Technician – Intermediate Apprenticeship (L2)

This is an opportunity to work as an apprentice within the heart of the production team, helping to create, process and package one of the most famous ciders in the country. You’ll be working shifts, operating and maintaining state of the art equipment & technology. You will be pro-active, have a passion to learn and relish operating in a fast paced, demanding and high-tech environment.

To apply, you’ll need to have 5 GCSEs including maths and English. And be able to evidence that you’re the sort of person who accepts responsibility and is proactive, who takes pride in their work, aims for excellence, is punctual and reliable, and has ‘first time right’ attitude. We look for someone who seeks learning and development opportunities and who has a desire to learn about the company and food industry.

Business Admin (Retail/Marketing/Sales/Customer Service) – Advanced Apprenticeship (L3)

This role is on the commercial side of the business, supporting marketing, sales, retail and customer service by answering the phone, dealing with customer queries, supporting marketing with events and helping to compile marketing material.

To apply, you’ll need to demonstrate that you are a people person, good at building relationships and working well in a team. You’ll need excellent communication, organisational and interpersonal skills, be customer-focused, a self-starter with a pro-active attitude who always delivers and have the ability to multi-task, work well under pressure and results driven. You’ll also need to be willing to go above and beyond to provide world class customer service and need to have achieved at least grade 4/C at GCSE or equivalent.

ICT Support Engineer – Advanced Apprenticeship (L3)

This is the first point of contact for all IT support queries at Thatchers, troubleshooting, resolving where possible and escalating to other team members as necessary. The role involves handling IT support queries, building and configuring PCs and laptops, as well as checking to ensure the Windows and VM environments remain stable.

If you’re interested in this level 3 apprenticeship, you’ll need a strong knowledge of IT and systems, but we also look for people with excellent interpersonal skills, who are able to use their initiative, who have good organisational skills, are fast learners and resilient. You’ll need a good standard of education in maths, English and ICT with at least grade 4/C or equivalent qualifications.

Orchard Technician – Intermediate Apprenticeship (L2)

This is an opportunity to develop a sought-after combination of industry and technical skills whilst maintaining and developing the orchards that make one of the most famous ciders in the country. You’ll become a confident member of our farm team who are leading industry experts and passionate about apples. They also work outside in all weathers, operating and maintaining farm machinery with early starts that meet the demands of the farm environment.

And finally …

If you miss the deadline for applying for our apprenticeship vacancies at any time, keep in touch and show your enthusiasm. There’s a great tour of the farm and facilities available, for example – and there’s a good chance you’ll see even more on a weekend. The tour guides that show you around are really flexible and highly knowledgeable. You’re bound to learn lots about the company, the brand and the history of Thatchers so well worth investigating.

With huge thanks to Emma and the team at Thatchers in North Somerset. To find out more, visit the Thatchers Careers website or email [email protected]

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