► 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.




Case study: Interview with our Apprentices

skills-engineering.jpg We sat down with several of our apprentices, all at various stages of their training and asked them some questions:

Q: Why did you decide to do an apprenticeship?
A: I wanted to learn skills which would provide me with a career in the future. I chose this rather than college because I learn best by being hands-on and my apprenticeship gives me that. (Harry Cupitt, 2nd Year Apprentice at Carlton)

Q: Has this apprenticeship had a positive impact on your life?
A: Its been an enjoyable journey. The hands-on approach with the support of the site engineers has helped me gain confidence that my chosen career within engineering is right for me. (Joe Lewis, 2nd Year Apprentice at Stoke)

Q: Whats it like to work at Premier Foods?
A: I feel really lucky to be working for Premier Foods - theyve been very welcoming and supportive throughout. I feel as though Im a valued individual working in a team, not just another cog in the wheel. (David Le Carpentier, 3rd Year Engineering Apprentice at Andover)

Q: Whats an average day like for you?
A: I spend most of my time in the factory learning and doing things. Ive learnt about quality checks and getting to know the advanced machinery. I wanted to gain knowledge of food production and learn from experienced operators. My apprenticeship gives me real, practical experience so I feel confident and prepared for an engineering career. (Christopher O'Gray, Technical Operator, 1st Year Apprentice at Worksop)


Case study: Our partnership with Sheffield Hallam University




Case study: FBF school visits

We've been supporting the Institute for Grocery Distributions Feeding Britain's Future (FBF) campaign since its launch in 2012.

In this time, more than 200 companies have offered 60,000 places to help young, unemployed people with the skills they need to get a job.

For years our manufacturing sites and head office have hosted workshops for local unemployed youngsters including sessions about CV writing and interview skills.

More recently we extended our support by helping the IGD expand skills training to children in years 9 and 12 within schools.

For the past couple of years, Premier Foods colleagues have facilitated sessions with youngsters to encourage them to think about the world of work before they finish their studies and start the search for a job.

Even our CEO and HR Director took part in sessions to encourage the participants, talk about their own experiences and the career opportunities available in the food industry. In the 2016/17 financial year, volunteers from Premier Foods took part in 75 schools sessions around the country.


Case study: FBF local schools initiative

Earlier this year, in collaboration with the Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD), we developed a local schools initiative. Its part of our ongoing commitment to develop the skills of young people and showcase the career opportunities within our industry.

The campaign has seen a number of our sites partner with a local school to deliver pre-employment skills workshops. For example, colleagues from our St Albans HQ facilitated a CV writing workshop at a local school and also delivered an interactive session to groups of year 9 (age 14) students as part of the school's annual careers fair.

Students were encouraged to think about potential career paths that interest them and, through discussion with our colleagues, think about what training, further education or experience may be required and is available.

At our Ashford factory, the site team delivered writing and interactive sessions to a groups of 30 Year 10 students from their local school to help them with CV writing and interview skills ahead of their upcoming applications for college, apprenticeships or sixth form.