Associated British Foods – Level 4 Associate Project Manager apprenticeship

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Associated British Foods (ABF) case study

Associated British Foods is a diversified international food, ingredients, and retail group with sales of £15.8bn, 138,000 employees and operations in 52 countries across Europe, southern Africa, the Americas, Asia and Australia. Their purpose is to provide safe, nutritious, affordable food and clothing that is great value for money. Their business is split into five segments: Grocery; Sugar; Agriculture; Ingredients; and Retail. Their portfolio includes well-known brands such as Twinings, Ryvita, Kingsmill, Silver Spoon and Pataks.

The requirements

Associated British Foods (ABF) identified a skills gap with some of their marketers who facilitate cross functional projects, particularly around product development. Once they found out about the Associate Project Manager apprenticeship, they were able to offer it out to other functions who had similar skills gaps including the project managers. They needed to build key skills while allowing their colleagues across different parts of the organisation to share experiences and best practice. They wanted to enable their people to build their own network to support them in their roles.

The solution

ABF chose to deliver the Associate Project Manager apprenticeship programme with
Provek. The programme was delivered over 13 months involving a highly effective blend of group workshops, personal coaching, self-study and on the job learning.

Provek arranged a technical workshop prior to the launch, for the trainer to gain an understanding of ABF’s existing methodologies, key objectives, the nature of projects learners work on, thus allowing the trainer to tailor the workshops to ensure relevance and create a valuable learning experience.

Provek offered ABF the opportunity for internal subject matter experts to present at the workshops, providing an ABF perspective on important topics that are covered in the programme, providing learners the opportunity to gain invaluable insight from senior project managers. The learners gained two professional qualifications from completing the programme – the APM PMQ qualification and Level 4 Associate Project Manager Award.

The results

The project managers now feel more confident to recognise gaps in process and governance in their work while working on several projects at any one time. It has increased stakeholder engagement and helped staff to deliver meaningful information regarding ongoing projects and seek continuous improvements. The learning experience has increased networking within the ABF organisation and collaborative working. It has given the learners more confidence to deliver results and structure workloads while supporting others.


Jennifer Cook, Apprenticeship Talent Officer

“Using Provek to deliver our Project Manager Apprenticeship has provided us with high quality training which has addressed gaps in skills for our Project Managers. It has helped us identify and make improvements to how our projects are delivered and to manage our stakeholder relationships effectively. It has increased the confidence of our project managers and networking within the organisation. They strive for continuous improvement providing high quality solutions to our organisation through the work they do.”


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