► SustainabilityOur People

Our People

In Our People work, we will be building the culture, skills and capabilities needed to help the business, the UK food sector and wider economy thrive in the future, and give back to the communities where we operate.

 
 
 

We believe we all deserve the opportunity to develop our skills and talents to our full potential, work in a safe, supportive and inclusive environment, and be fairly rewarded and recognised. 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 (for more on our culture see Our Purpose & Values). We are working towards more inclusivity at all levels, from bringing gender balance in senior leadership roles, to reflecting the diversity of the different communities where we operate, and will continue to educate all colleagues on the importance of this. We are also creating a culture which supports colleagues with their mental and physical health and wellbeing. We have already trained 91% of managers on mental health awareness, and will roll it out to all of our colleagues – having already trained 1,500. 

With the food industry constantly reinventing itself, and the skills and expertise required ever evolving, we will aim to be a leading developer of people for the UK food industry. Expanding our successful apprentice and graduate programmes, we will work with schools and colleges in our local communities, to inspire careers by offering on-the-job experience for students as part of the new T- levels placements, and will develop specific programmes for excluded groups. We want to help the food industry bridge the gap on STEM skills and will give special focus to offering training and development to our colleagues, current and future.

We operate from 15 offices and sites across the country, and endeavour to be a caring partner for our colleagues, their friends and families and other members of our communities, our customers, suppliers and future colleagues. We’ll aim to be a force for good and volunteer our time and expertise to those local causes linked to the issues of food poverty, skills development, employability and local environmental quality. As a food manufacturer we feel a responsibility to help tackle the increasing issue of food poverty and will work together with our partners, suppliers, customers and charities to donate the equivalent of 1 million meals to those vulnerable populations. This year, we innovated with a Tesco in-store activation “Win a dinner, Give a dinner” which enabled a donation of nearly £30,000 and 30 pallets worth of products to FareShare.

We’re always looking for talents 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 our communities

 

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During the pandemic many traditional face-to-face fundraising events were not possible, so our charity champions worked especially hard to help colleagues fundraise in innovative ways for our charity partner Together for Short Lives. That’s why we’re incredibly proud to have raised a fantastic £108,000 this year, to support the 15 local children’s hospices with which our sites are partnered, funding over 800 community care sessions for children, giving families precious moments together and, allowing parents of children with life limiting conditions, the rare opportunity to just be mum and dad. This brings our fundraising total for this wonderful charity to £188,000 in April 2022, well on track to achieving the £200,000 target we set ourselves at the beginning of our partnership in May 2020.

As a responsible business, we’ve also sought to respond to crises affecting our colleagues, wider communities and partners, and this year made a donation of £100,000 to the British Red Cross through the Disasters Emergency Committee Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal, to support the people of Ukraine. The donation will help provide much needed clean water, emergency shelter, food, health assistance, sanitation and hygiene, protection and trauma counselling.

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