Apprentices gain skills and experience with expanding Dorset firm

Bridport and Lyme Regis News: LEARNING: Apprentices Aaron Coward and George Reynolds on their first day at The Watercress Company LEARNING: Apprentices Aaron Coward and George Reynolds on their first day at The Watercress Company

TWO apprentices are spending their salad days gaining experience at a growing Dorset firm.

The Watercress Company based at Waddock Cross, near Dorchester, launched its apprentice scheme earlier in the year in a bid to bring in fresh ideas and give young people a chance to get involved in a rapidly growing company.

Aaron Coward and George Reynolds were the two successful applicants and were introduced to staff and managers from the company’s sites in Dorset and Hampshire at a meet and greet day.

As part of the apprenticeship scheme the duo will also be heading to Sparsholt College in Hampshire one day a week to study for a level two work-based diploma in horticulture.

Lynne Ronaldson, who is helping to run the apprentice scheme, said she was impressed by the standard of applicants she encountered.

She said: “We were very encouraged by our first round of interviews for this scheme where we met some strong candidates.

“It was proof that there are good young people in and around Dorset who are keen and willing to work hard and develop a career for themselves.”

Aaron has been placed with the company’s landcrop team and George has started work in the watercress department before they do their rotation at the firm’s Hampshire site next summer.

The Watercress Company has been one of the county’s success stories over recent years and now has an annual turnover of around £14million and supplies 75 per cent of British watercress.

It has also featured on several cookery shows and other television programmes as interest grows in watercress and its status as a ‘superfood’.

If the apprenticeship scheme is a success then The Watercress Company will embark on a second round of recruitment next year.

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