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Graduate - Manufacturing Operations

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Date: 10-Jun-2022

Location: St Albans, GB

Company: Premier Foods

A great British food company 


Premier Foods is one of Britain’s biggest listed food companies, employing over 4,000 colleagues at 15 manufacturing sites and offices up and down the country.


Many of our brands have been part of UK life for more than a century and you’ll find them in 94% of British households.


At Premier foods we believe in inclusion, authenticity and individuality. We aim to ensure all existing and potential colleagues are given equitable opportunities and are respected, valued and encouraged to bring their true authentic selves to work no matter who they are, what they look like, who they love or what they believe in. Our culture is one where everyone is welcome. 



Graduate Programme: Manufacturing Operations 

Location: Placements are available in different location across the UK

Starting Salary: £28,000 plus benefits


A responsive and robust supply chain is critical to the ongoing success of Premier Foods.  The operations team are responsible to understand the customer needs and to manage the supply chain response to deliver our products on time and in full.    We develop our supply chain to meet the changing needs of consumers, customers and of broader society.  We have a common strategic framework giving strong business ownership within our planning, logistics and customer service teams as well as at each manufacturing site.  This encourages and supports collaboration across our supply network. 


Engineering is a key function within the operations team responsible for caring for our assets (manufacturing sites, utilities and production equipment), optimisation of asset performance and for provision of new assets to enable new products and improvements in supply chain performance.  Current major strategic themes include achieving greenhouse gas reduction across our operations facilities on our road to net zero; digitisation of manufacturing; automation; and asset care.  All of this sits within the context of the core deliverables of customer service and cost management across our supply chain, requiring close collaboration within sites, between sites and across the wider supply network.


The aim of our graduate program is to develop the supply chain leaders of the future.  We aim to give participants a broad understanding of our business, experience of new challenges and opportunity to develop leadership skills.  In return we look for participants to take ownership of their work, to engage fully with the organisation, to push the performance of our supply chain to new levels and to have fun.


What will I be doing:


Joining our Graduate Development Scheme in Manufacturing Operations, following your corporate induction, you then move to a rotational plan that will include three 6-month placements.  The placements will typically be in our manufacturing sites focussed on engineering and operational disciplines.  There will also be the opportunity for one placement to be in other supply chain disciplines either at a manufacturing site or our Planning, Logistics and Customer Service Centre.


Induction Programme (up to 4 weeks):

  • To gain a broad overview of our company structure; commercial/finance and procurement functions including introduction to our Brands and Values
  • To complete corporate training in procedures and policies (Safety, Quality, Legal, IT, HR)


For each placement your role will have a defined sponsor and regular progress reviews to support you gaining maximum benefit from the experience  The programme, whilst tightly focussed on business priorities, also has a level of flexibility to tailor locations and content to the individuals’ interests and circumstances. Through the rotation of the program, graduates will gain a broad experience of the Premier Foods supply and functional roles.


Example placements:

  • Sustainability Coordinator: Identifying waste streams & energy losses; Improving data collection and analysis; Engaging organisation to identify and implement improvement projects; Leading cost saving projects; Pilot energy dashboard for group reapplication.
  • Capex  projects: Join team for onsite implementation of a major capital investment project; Facilitate technology hand over from project team to operational team; Develop a standard technology handover work process; Steer work using gap analysis and post implementation reviews; Communicate with and influence all stakeholders; Focus on training, snag lists, reviews, early life support, asset protection and demonstrating success criteria performance; Approach to be replicable for other projects and other sites. Continuous Improvement Support: OEE, Waste & Yield improvement projects utilising the Premier Food continuous improvement tools; Define manufacturing issues and measure and analyse data/trends; Create improvement plans and execute them; Put sustainable actions in place​. Project Engineer: Working on our Cake Good to Great Automation project.  The project is set to deliver a strategic approach to automation across the three sweet treats sites by developing standardisation in robotic/automation solutions that can be applied in multiple scenarios.  The initial project will deliver a robotic pick and place system for our shallow tarts and mince pies transferring individual pieces into thermoformed trays.​


 What we need from you:

  • Degree qualified in a manufacturing/operations discipline (e.g. engineering, supply chain, manufacturing)  
  • Ideally work experience in industry
  • An understanding and interest in the UK FMCG/retail sectors
  • Able to meet the travelling requirements of the role
  • High level of numeracy and accuracy
  • Strong communicator – both oral and written
  • Outward looking and willing to learn
  • An inclusive team player
  • The ambition and drive to make change happen
  • Desire to undertake formal professional qualification with relevant Chartered Institute/Professional Body.
  • Right to work in the UK without sponsorship


What can you expect?

  • Salary of £28,000 and attractive benefits package including: 25 days holiday plus statutory holidays, pension scheme, life assurance, employee discount scheme including travel, food and shopping discounts.
  • To become part of a graduate community, where diversity is valued
  • A Business Mentor
  • More than 10 days of off-job development workshops covering such topics as communication, presentation and influencing skills