► ResponsibilityRealise people's potential

Realise people's potential


Developing skills

When we welcome colleagues into our business – no matter at what level – we help them develop the confidence and skills to move onto and up the career ladder. Here's some of the ways we achieve this: 

red-petal-small.jpg We invest in self-led learning tools, including LinkedIn Learning for all IT-enabled colleagues, offering access to over 7,000 on-line courses. 
red-petal-small.jpg  We use psychometric tools to help us to understand how to unlock the potential of high performing individuals and teams across our business, and from this we can develop tailored training to hone key skills, for example our Sales Academy programme.
red-petal-small.jpg Our Leadership programmes equip our leaders with practical skills and tools to enable
them to raise the bar and lead the business with authenticity and integrity. 
red-petal-small.jpg Apprenticeships are an important part of our future talent strategy, providing career
progression for existing colleagues and attracting new recruits. We have supported the training and development of 40 apprentices year on year for the last two years and plan to maintain this level in the coming financial year. (See our case study below)
red-petal-small.jpg  Graduates play an important role in building our internal talent pipelines and in 2019 we’ll recruit our fifth consecutive intake of commercial graduates, in additional to longer standing finance and procurement programmes. 

Our industry is facing a skills gap in key areas including STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) based roles. For this reason, we choose to play an active role driving awareness of and promoting the breadth of career opportunities that exist within our sector. Some of our long-standing activities include:

Feeding-Britains-Future.jpg red-petal-small.jpg We support the Institute for Grocery Distribution's (IGD's) Feeding Britain’s Future schools campaign. In 2018 our colleagues took part in 90 pre-employment skills training sessions for year 9 and year 12 students.
red-petal-small.jpg  We support the IGD’s Schools Programme initiative, with five of our sites actively supporting local schools and providing CV writing, confidence building and interview skills training.
red-petal-small.jpg We work with the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) to support the MEng programme at Sheffield Hallam through student placements at our factories and mentoring support. 


Fairness and equality of opportunity

Diversity and Inclusion

We are committed to having an inclusive culture across our whole organisation.  This means ensuring that all existing or potential colleagues are given equal opportunities and respected, valued and encouraged to give their best at all times.

Rather than focusing on setting specific targets for diversity (gender and ethnicity) our focus remains to understand where issues arise, identify and remove potential blocks and seek to improve processes and training. This involves:

red-petal-small.jpg Communicating our Diversity and Equality policy across the business and incorporating
it into the induction process for new starters.
red-petal-small.jpg Identification of areas in the business where diversity is considered to be low.
red-petal-small.jpg Specific training for those involved in recruitment.
red-petal-small.jpg Meetings between HR leads and senior management to raise awareness of issues, provide training and identify solutions. 
red-petal-small.jpg  Annual collation of data and review of progress.

Gender Pay Gap Reporting

From April 2017, all large UK companies employing 250 people or more are required to report the following gender pay gap figures:

red-petal-small.jpg Gender pay gap (mean and median figures).
red-petal-small.jpg  Gender bonus gap (mean and median figures).
red-petal-small.jpg  Proportion of men and women in each quartile of the organisation's pay structure.
red-petal-small.jpg  Proportion of men and women receiving bonuses
As a significant employer and one of the UK's biggest food manufacturers, here at Premier Foods we welcome this step. We believe that it is important for all companies to be transparent about pay, and that by doing this, progress will be made in bridging the pay gap that exists in the UK today.

Here is a link to our 2019 Gender Pay Gap report.

Health and safety in the workplace

We take Health and Safety extremely seriously and we are proud to continue to have one of the lowest accident rates in the food industry. Our unique, inclusive approach to hazard identification and control, our ‘Total Observation Process’, is a vital preventative tool in making our factories safe places to work and is a key component in our industry leading performance.

We have an internal Behavioural Safety Programme named BeSafe, which encourages all colleagues to identify and discuss both safe and unsafe actions within their workplace, carried out by co-workers or contractors, to heighten understanding and awareness of individual behaviours within the workplace. This then helps manufacturing sites to target resources to improve safety in the most effective areas.


Our Case Studies


Apprenticeship Programme

Hear from our Apprentices

Apprenticeships can prove one of the most practical ways for people to learn, enabling them to develop and hone new knowledge and skills whilst remaining in paid employment. We offer apprenticeships to both existing colleagues and new recruits, with programmes ranging from Technical Operators, Food Technologists, Software Development, Continuous Improvement and beyond. Our programmes cover all levels of prior experience, meaning they are a truly inclusive route to career progression. Since 2017, our apprenticeship schemes have supported the training and development of more than 100 colleagues.

Hear from our past and current Apprentices...

“I have worked for Premier Foods for 20 years and it is great to have the opportunity to still take part in the scheme. It means I can learn a new role while working and at the end, I will have a nationally recognised qualification. Also within food manufacturing, equipment is becoming increasingly complex so it's been great to have the chance to learn and adapt.”
(Tabrez Javaid – Machine Technical Operator Apprentice, Stoke manufacturing site)

“When I saw Premier Foods was recruiting for apprentices, I thought it was a great way for me to get a qualification while working for a well-known food manufacturer. The scheme was really good, with training and advice always available. If I needed help on shift, my colleagues were there to support me and I had a mentor for any queries around my coursework. As a result, I have gained many skills.”
(Antonia Oakley, Technical Operator Apprentice, Worksop manufacturing site)

“As part of my apprenticeship I complete basic Continuous Improvement (CI) duties on six different lines within the factory. I’m always being exposed to new elements of the business and trying out new tasks every day which has led me to have a much wider knowledge of the business than I necessarily would somewhere else.”
(Gareth Thompson – Formerly completed a Continuous Improvement Apprenticeship. Now Improvement Coordinator, Carlton manufacturing site)

Graduate Programme

Hear from our Graduates

Our Graduate Programmes provide an excellent foundation for a career in the food and drink sector and enable us to harness and nurture emerging talent. We offer four distinct programmes - within our Commercial (Sales and Marketing), Finance, Procurement and IT teams - and since 2014 have welcomed over 80 Graduates on to the programme and supported their early career development. From the moment they join us, all our Graduates embark on a two-year Graduate Development Programme. This includes a series of external training modules designed to help them develop core business skills including commercial awareness, presenting, and managing change. During their Programme, our Graduates also typically undertake three placement roles that are appropriate to their Graduate scheme. This ensures they get relevant exposure to our business before they complete the programme and have the opportunity to apply for a permanent role.

Hear from our past and current Graduates...

“Since starting the Procurement Graduate programme in 2015, I have had the opportunity to work in several different areas of procurement. I liked the fact that I was given responsibility and treated as a real part of the team straight away. Being part of a cross-functional cohort of graduates meant that I got a lot of support and this helped me to build my network throughout the business. After progressing through the procurement scheme, I decided I wanted to build my experience in another function. Premier supported me in this move and after 4 years in procurement I was able to leverage the skills and connections I had built throughout the graduate scheme to move into a new role in Category Development.”
(Naomi Spray – Category Executive within our Category Development & Shopper Marketing team. Completed 2015 Graduate Procurement programme)

“The Commercial Graduate Programme gave me exposure to various areas of the business including field sales, brand marketing and e-commerce. This in turn gave me a strong commercial understanding and knowledge of our products and retail channels. Upon completing the programme I was appointed National Account Executive for Morrisons, and within 12 months I was promoted to National Account Manager for the Quick Meals, Snacks and Soups category where I was responsible for managing and delivering the joint business plan with full P&L responsibility. To widen my experience I subsequently moved into Commercial Planning on Home Baking, more recently being promoted to Commercial Planning Manager for the Quick Meals, Snacks and Soups category - a role I've been able to hit the ground running with on account of my sales experience of the category. The icing on the cake was to be nominated by the business for the Rising Star award at the 2019 Food and Drink Federation (FDF) Awards, which I went onto win.”
(Jessica Kelly – Commercial Planning Manager for the Quick Meals, Snacks and Soups Category. Completed 2015 Commercial Graduate programme)

“I joined the Finance Graduate Scheme in September 2018 and from the first day you really do hit the ground running. My first rotation was within Commercial Finance, business partnering the internal Waitrose, Ocado, Amazon and Co-Op teams. The support that Premier gives you is incredible, with so much to learn and get involved in. My first rotation allowed me add value to discussions and negotiations by providing financial analysis and challenging the norms. My second rotation is a newly created rotation in Premier’s shared service centre (PBS) in Manchester. I pushed to make this a rotation due to the valuable knowledge I knew I would gain from invoicing, SG&A to product costing and how vital these components are to the success of the business as a whole. Premier Foods sponsors all Finance graduates to become chartered, giving you the choice between ACA, ACCA or CIMA. They fully fund everything from exams to college whilst also giving you a generous amount of study days off per exam. Additionally, one of the best things about the graduate scheme for me is the level of support you receive, as you are given a Buddy, a Mentor and a Line Manager. This allows you to learn from others to develop professionally."
(Jasprit Singh – joined 2018 Financial Graduate programme)