Hungry FOR success

By Laurette Ziemer


No matter how tough things get, the things people will always keep buying are food and drink.

basic fact of life explains why food and drink manufacturing has
emerged as one of the fastest growing industries in the country with
thousands of new jobs appearing every month.

More than 10,000
positions are up for grabs at any one time, ranging from production
workers and quality assessors to butchers and bakers.

“The food
and drink industry has shown it is resilient to the recession as people
will always need to eat, so there are plenty of career paths offering
great opportunities for progression,” says Jack Matthews of Improve,
the Food and Drink Sector Skills Council (

sector needs to replace its ageing workforce and many employers are
crying out for ambitious recruits whether you have been to university
or not.”

Janet Kelly from Jobcentre Plus
( says: “The industry offers lots of
opportunities at every level from entry positions to management and
supervisor roles. There are great prospects for progression and many
people start at the bottom and work their way up.”

Employers in
this area often specialise in one aspect of food production such as
baking, freezing or brewing. In some cases work is seasonal, for
example, canning and freezing soft fruit and vegetables.

manufacturing involves the production and packing of a wide variety of
food items including frozen, canned, baked, dried and pasteurised

Food process workers and packaging operatives work on
the machines that put finished food and drink products such as
biscuits, crisps, soup, drinks and chocolate bars into containers, cans
or packets.

There are also options to specialise in a particular skill.

As a trained butcher, baker or fishmonger there are plenty of in-store opportunities at supermarkets.

you could work for a smaller company and create products to sell in
specialist shops, delicatessens or local markets.

Work can be
varied and involve driving to markets, wholesalers and customers’
premises. You could even specialise in halal, kosher or organic foods
depending on the demands of your local community.