► SustainabilityOur People

Our People

Within our people pillar we are building the culture, skills and capabilities needed to help our business, the UK food sector and wider economy thrive in the future and give back to the communities where we operate. 

What’s at stake? 

With a footprint in every region in the UK,  the food and drink manufacturing industry employs nearly half a million people, and offers a wide range of opportunities for colleagues to build a fulfilling career. And, as inclusive teams make better business decisions 86% of the time and twice as fast, delivering 60% better results (Social Mobility Commission), everyone stands to benefit when we value and support talent with different backgrounds and identities coming into our business. But disparities are increasing, and the costof-living crisis is felt across our communities with food poverty on the rise as showed by the 2022 Food Foundation’s Food Insecurity Index. As a food manufacturer, we have a responsibility to support and nourish the lives of our colleagues, our consumers and our communities. 

Our ambitions, targets and progress 


Our contribution 


We want our colleagues to thrive at work and aim for Premier Foods to be a place where everyone is welcome, feeling they can bring their true, authentic self to work every day. We are working towards becoming even more inclusive across the entire organisation, including bringing gender balance to senior leadership roles through the introduction of a new sponsorship programme for diverse talent as well as the continuation of our well-established mentoring programmes. We ran our #oktobeme diversity data survey for the second time to gain a better insight into the diversity of our teams, and saw a significant increase in the number of colleagues agreeing to take part in the survey, going from a 48% to a 76% response rate. We are developing tools to help our leaders to better understand and reflect the diversity of the communities in which we operate. Our Inclusion and Diversity (I&D) Ambassadors network continues to educate all colleagues, partnering with Stonewall, Trans in the City, Menopause Experts and Diversity in Grocery, which we were proud to sponsor. 

To support colleagues with their mental and physical well-being, we carried out wide-ranging assessments this year to help us better understand the health of our colleagues at two sites. Supported by Vitality, the organisation behind Britain’s Healthiest Workplaces accreditations, we are pleased to have received Bronze accreditation for those sites. The pilot will now be extended to include three more sites over the next 12 months. 

Our long-running apprentice and graduate programmes provide fantastic career development opportunities while helping us attract new talent and grow our existing colleagues. These programmes also play a critical role in addressing the skills gap faced by our industry, particularly in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) based roles. Our newly recruited Early Careers Advisor is developing partnerships with local schools and colleges to raise awareness of the opportunities in the industry, including those more likely to be from groups who wouldn’t traditionally have considered a career in a food company. When we welcome colleagues into our business– no matter at what level – our Learning and Development programmes help them develop the confidence and skills to move up the career ladder. We’re encouraging more of our colleagues to develop their careers into STEM roles and have mapped out the various opportunities which fit within this category to better signpost our colleagues.  

We operate from 15 offices and sites across the country, endeavouring to be a caring partner for our colleagues and our local communities. We aim to be a force for good and volunteer our time and expertise to local causes linked to the issues of food poverty, employability and local environmental quality. As a food manufacturer, we have an opportunity to help tackle the increasing issue of food poverty and in the past year have launched an innovative new five-year partnership with FareShare UK (see case study). This encompasses the reduction of food waste at our sites, increased redistribution of surplus stock, partnership campaigns with our retailers to amplify the charity’s message and ambitions, and colleague engagement and fundraising. We provided the equivalent of 726,000 meals to support FareShare and other poverty relief charities. Our colleagues gave 270 days of volunteering and 96% of those asked said they had a much better understanding of the issues faced by our communities as a result.  

We’re always looking for talent to join our team! For more information about current vacancies and what a career at Premier Foods looks like, please visit our careers website

Case Studies

Supporting women in STEM careers


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With women occupying less than 30% of the Science, Technology, Engineering or Maths (STEM) roles, we want to raise awareness of the exciting opportunities the food industry offers, and support younger women as they choose this career path. We are delighted to have talented female colleagues taking part in our highly recognised Apprenticeship scheme, which each year sees between 70 and 80 colleagues training. For example, colleagues Dani Keep, Apprentice Packaging Technologist, Emma Wright, Apprentice Technical Operator on our Oxo cubes line and Jemma Green, Food Technologist Apprentice, recently attended the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink (NSAFD) Tasty Ambassador course, building skills to become advocates of the food industry. They are just three examples of our female colleagues showing the way for the next generation of women in STEM roles.

Apprenticeship Programme


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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 we have trained more than 150 apprentices .

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


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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 2017 we have trained more than 70 Graduates 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

FareShare UK


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In November 2022 we announced a new, long-term partnership with the UK’s biggest charity fighting hunger and food waste, FareShare UK.

As part of the multifaceted partnership, which will span five years, Premier Foods will provide food donations directly to FareShare, which will be redistributed to nearly 9,500 charities and community groups in its network. Premier Foods will also provide funding to enable FareShare to redistribute food across its network of 31 warehouses across the UK.

Not only will the partnership help to put food on the tables of people in need, at a time when 9.9 million people in the UK are struggling to afford to eat, it will also help reduce the amount of food going to waste.

Watch this short video to discover how we’ll work together to help maximise our positive impact on people and planet.


To read more about the partnership, click here.