PA looking to recruit for apprenticeships scheme

Knutsford based Packaging Automation Ltd the leading manufacturer and exporter of specialist food packaging machinery has opened its 2018 apprenticeship scheme to new applicants.
PA has trained more than 100 apprentices since the scheme started 30 years ago with former apprentices now holding director, management and team leader roles in the business today. As a rapidly growing business with annual sales growth of 20% per year, PA needs to continually recruit and has struggled to find engineers who have the specialist skills required for the design and manufacture of food packaging machinery.

Two of PA’s apprentices have recently been recognised for their achievements with Christopher Eckert named the UK’s top apprentice at the Semta Skills awards in 2016 and James Sydenham being awarded the Best Apprentice in Cheshire and Warrington in the apprenticeship category at The High Sheriff's Awards for Enterprise in 2017.

As well as winning awards for the apprenticeship scheme, the business has most recently been recognised nationally by the EEF as the UK winner of the Business Growth Award and as the runner up in the Developing People Award at a glittering ceremony in London in January.
James Sydenham commented on winning the Best Apprentice Award “It feels amazing to win, I never thought 4 years ago when I joined that I would be shortlisted for an award like this never mind to win. PA has given me a great opportunity and I can’t thank them enough. The team on the shop floor have given me so much support and I am looking forward to a successful future with PA.”

While working, James has completed his HNC in Electrical/Electronic Engineering. James is now continuing to build his knowledge and thriving as an electrical fitter.
Christopher Eckert said on winning the SEMTA top apprentice award “I am very shocked – to be up against apprentices from enormous companies like Mars and Toyota, I really didn’t expect to win. My message to other young people is don’t be deterred. My dad Kenneth didn’t really want me to become an apprentice because he felt university was the best option. If you are willing to commit and work hard you can get where you want to be.”
While working, Chris has completed his HNC in Electrical/Electronic Engineering with distinction enabling him to win an employer sponsored place to study for a BEng Honours degree at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Neil Ashton PA’s Operations Director said “These apprenticeship awards recognise the value that we can offer as a small business to manufacturing and engineering talent creation in the UK. We invest a vast amount of time and effort in developing young individuals that have aspirations to achieve whilst gaining a qualification. Equally as a small employer it is vital that the apprentices can add value to our operation as early on in their training programme as possible. James and Chris have demonstrated through their skill, hard work, customer focus and determination that there is no limit to what they can achieve in engineering in the future.”

HR Manager Dorothy Wainscott will be attending local careers fairs at schools and colleges along with some of the current apprentices in March and April. If you would like to know more about Packaging Automation’s apprenticeship scheme, or to arrange a factory tour please call Dorothy on 01565 755000.


Packaging Automation Ltd was established in 1963 and is a leading UK manufacturer of tray sealing and pot filling and sealing machinery.
PA can offer customers a tray sealer or pot filler for a wide range of applications in the food industry including fresh produce packing such as salad, tomato, strawberry, raspberry and soft fruit packing, fish, seafood, meat and chicken packing (including vacuum packing and skin packing), ready meal sealing and packing, and pot or tub denesting, filling and sealing for puddings and sauces. Full packing lines can be specified and installed to include tray denesting, conveyoring, tray filling, film sealing including modified atmosphere packing (MAP) facilities. Foil tray sealing as well as plastic tray sealing can be accommodated on all machines as standard.

For further information please contact:
Packaging Automation Ltd
Claire Carless
Marketing Assistant
Samantha Ashton
Commercial Director
Packaging Automation Ltd
Parkgate Industrial Park
WA16 8XW
01565 755000