Powys drinks company boosts careers in the food and drink industry

A business and important employer in the mid Wales area is supporting the promotion of careers in the food and drink industry.

Radnor Hills' production line
Radnor Hills' production line

Radnor Hills Water is working with the Food Skills Cymru programme and delivering apprenticeships to in excess of 80 learners.

The programme, delivered by Lantra, supports businesses within the Welsh food and drink processing and manufacturing industry to ensure employees have the right skills and training for their business and the wider industry.

Based in Knighton, Radnor Hills supplies a vast variety of spring and flavoured waters and own label brands, and as the company has grown, developing home grown staff has been key to the business.

William Watkins, Radnor Hills managing director, said: "The business grew out of a farming business over 30 years ago when I returned from university and decided to diversify.

"We’ve had a huge number of people join us since then, we couldn’t have got to where we are now without a lot of new people coming along with lots of different skills. We’ve got everything here from food technologists through to software engineers – it’s got the whole gambit of different skills you need to run a medium sized enterprise like this.

“The Food Skills Cymru programme has been integral to our business as it has offered qualifications and hands on experience to our apprentices and has encouraged them to get involved in the food and drink industry.”

Radnor Hills is one of six companies across Wales that is working with Food Skills Cymru in creating short films to highlight the potential long term careers within the food and drink sector. The films are aimed at young people as they consider their future job prospects.

William added: “For anybody thinking about going into the food and drink sector, for me this is one of the most exciting sectors that you can get involved with. There’s a career for life and you can come in and you can work your way through, with help and training you can get yourself to the next level. It’s always dynamic, it’s always changing, and, it’s fun.”

Sarah Lewis, Food Skills Cymru manager, added: “The Food and drink industry is a crucial part of the Welsh economy and has suffered greatly during the recent pandemic. To help address some of these issues, the Food Skills Cymru programme aims to prepare employees across Wales to adapt to future economic and environmental challenges and position them to capitalise on opportunities for business development and growth.

“We hope these films will help further promote the food and drink industry as a valued and worthwhile career path and we are delighted to have established companies such as Radnor Hills supporting our campaign.”

To see the films and learn more about the Food Skills Cymru programme visit www.foodskills.cymru.

Food Skills Cymru is funded by the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

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