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TRS Apprentices Spearhead Productivity And Performance Improvement For Employer

  • Post category:Success

TRS Training have come up trumps again, with apprentices trained through them delivering bottom line benefits for their employer.

As a trailblazing training provider we have teamed up with Carl Kovacs, the Group HR Advisor at SGL Co-packing.  TRS have been working with ten apprentices at the company, training them in Business Improvement Techniques.

Continual improvement cycle

The cohort of students has been learning about Kaizen techniques in the workplace. The approach focuses on creating a cycle of continuous improvement, as Carl explains:

“The technique is proven to have a positive impact on business.  We base thinking on the idea that small, ongoing, positive changes can reap significant improvements. The power of the approach relies upon co-operation and commitment on the ‘shop floor’. This contrasts with the typical model of management that relies on top-down decision making.”

Apprentices funded through Levy

Employees from SGL Co-packing signed up for the level 2 apprenticeship in Business Improvement Techniques to develop their skills and have them officially recognised. The Burnley-based apprentices are funded from the firm’s Apprenticeship Levy fund. They work on the production line, in the warehouse and the HR Department of the company. SGL Co-packing packs and repacks food products for some of the UK’s leading chocolate and biscuit manufacturers.

The foundation for the course includes modules on health and safety, team working and organisation. Students then progress onto learning about the Kaizen continuous improvement approach. The course of study lasts about twelve months.  In order to pass students have to deliver a live project in the workplace that demonstrates Kaizen methods in practice.

Apprentices suggest improvements in the workplace

At SGL Co-packing, improvements have been made in the workplace as a result of the bottom-up suggestions brought forward by the apprentices. 

The firm had been renting a waste compactor. The apprentices identified the machinery was not fit for purpose. They took their vision to management that not only would a newer machine be more efficient; it would also have a positive impact on quality and cost.  The suggestion was taken seriously by the senior decision makers, putting the employees a step closer to achieving their Level 2 qualifications. 

Streamlined and efficient

A full assessment was made and a new machine was installed. Working practices are now streamlined through the structural changes implemented when the new compactor came in to commission. 

Lee Johnston says:, the course leader from TRS

“I am very impressed with the apprentices’ approach and their suggestions. There is now a revised way of operating at the factory plus a new machine making the whole recycling and waste process more efficient for the employer.  We have managed to work with the team at SGL to ensure shift working and busy periods are accommodated.

“SGL packaging is a great example of where the Apprenticeship Levy has shown a return on investment for the employer. Other employers TRS are working with include Specsavers.  We look forward to the impact the apprentice recruits will have on operational procedures there.”


Three employees at Specsavers in Kidderminster have signed up for an apprenticeship in Business Improvement Techniques. Lee also confirms that Survitec in Birkenhead is putting four employees through the newly-introduced Level 3 apprenticeship. The marine survival specialist is investing their levy to qualify employees as Improvement Technicians.  

Meanwhile Carl Kovacs also anticipates that during 2019 his employer will back a further ten employees to study for the Level 2 apprenticeship in Business Improvement with TRS.