Luke Atkinson, Ian Callender and Tony Richards of Essity

Member Article

Afternoon tea with royalty for Northumberland manufacturer

Three members of staff from the Essity tissue mill in Prudhoe enjoyed afternoon tea with Princess Anne after winning royal recognition for the site’s apprentice training programme.

Northumberland’s second largest manufacturing employer, the mill – which makes Velvet and Cushelle toilet tissue – has seen more than 150 talented youngsters successfully complete the apprentice scheme since it was launched in 2004.

One of them, Luke Atkinson, won a draw to accompany mill manager Tony Richards and team leader Ian Callender to a glittering awards ceremony in London, where the company received a Princess Royal Training Award – the first-ever for a manufacturer in the region.

Presented by HRH Princess Anne at her London home, St James’s Palace, the Princess Royal Training Awards celebrate exceptional training and development programmes across the country.

Ranging from apprenticeship schemes to mental health and employee wellbeing programmes, winning businesses had to show exceptional dedication to training, upskilling and reskilling their workforce. Crucially, they also had to prove that the training had a substantial impact on their organisation and its people.

“This was an incredible honour for Essity, and a very exciting day for the three of us – especially our apprentice Luke who had never actually been to London before,” said Tony Richards.

“Our apprentice cohort brings huge value to the business, and I am immensely proud of what our young employees do for this business on a daily basis. Within five years of completing their apprenticeship, eleven have gone on to become area technicians, seven are crew leaders and five area leaders.

“Alongside our longer-serving employees, we now have a superb balance of talent and experience in our leadership.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by publicrelations .

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