From confectionery and convenience foods, to crisps and snacks, the people working in the food manufacturing industry are the reason that we get food on our table. You could be involved in designing or improving foods – their flavour or appearance, and then aid in creating them! This is an interesting industry that will keep you on your toes and thinking of new things.
Food manufacturing is an all-inclusive term for the food industry and involves everything from the preparation and packaging of microwave dinners, to the creation, design and improvement of your favourite snacks. When you walk around a supermarket, almost everything that you see will have had some interaction with the food manufacturing industry – you could be a part of this massive undertaking too.
It isn’t just small, local manufacturers in this sector either, it’s huge, or international – products made in one country are often shipped to many others across the world. Think about your favourite crisps or beverages, it’s likely you’ll be able to find them wherever you go! Food manufacturers strive for continuous improvement and aim for new optimisations daily to make food tastier, healthier and more interesting.
The food industry is highly engaging to be a part of, with opportunities in hundreds of roles. In the past, we’ve helped place young people in different and exciting positions in the sector, such as a chocolatier innovation specialist – not a role that many people would want to pass over!
What options can I take for a career in food manufacturing?
Work experience in the food manufacturing industry is highly recommended to give you a taste of what the sector involves. Through a work placement, you’ll get the experience of working alongside industry professionals that know exactly what your future career could involve. It’s the perfect opportunity to ask questions and find out the best way to get into the sector. The biggest food manufacturing organisations offer work placements; from procurement, supply chain and marketing to engineering and design, it’s safe to say that there are a huge range of opportunities available not just in the manufacturing aspect of the industry.
Unsure about what a work placement could involve? You should’ve asked!
As a food manufacturing apprentice, you’ll have a fully-paid, full-time job and work towards a qualification. As you’ll be working in an organisation, you’ll get to see the behind-the-scenes of the industry and put everything you learn at college or with a training provider into practise. As an apprentice, you’ll have responsibility to lead projects, teams and even sections of the manufacturing process as you develop your skills. Some apprenticeships in food manufacturing include:
- Level 2 – Butcher
- Level 2 – Abattoir Worker
- Level 2 – Food and Drink Process Operator
- Level 3 – Advanced Baker
- Level 3 – Food and Drink Maintenance Engineer
- Level 3 – Food and Drink Advanced Process Operator
Want to know what apprenticeships are all about? We have you covered!
Apprenticeships in the food manufacturing industry aren’t just at college level. There are also opportunities to study a degree apprenticeship at university and combine your apprenticeship with an undergraduate degree. Unlike a traditional degree, you won’t have the opportunity to choose the units as this is decided by your employer; however, this will mean that you will be perfectly equipped for whatever comes your way as part of your job. You can take the theoretical knowledge learnt in the academic setting and then apply this in person to your role – this should help you in your understanding even more. That means you’ll have a university degree without any of the debt!
- Level 6 – Food and Drink Advanced Engineer (degree)
Is a degree apprenticeship up your street? We’ll help you know!
The food manufacturing industry does have a surprising amount of academic theory behind it; from production and supply chain to chemistry and engineering. Probably not what you would originally think! You’ll spend a majority of your time at university in lectures or seminars learning the academic theory behind the industry which you will use in your future career once you graduate.
The good news is that you’ll be able to choose the units that you study to create degree perfectly suited to the job that you want! Whether you’re interested in a more practical role or not, it is recommended that you look at degree courses that offer industrial placements or years in industry, so you get an understanding of what it’s like from the inside too.
- Food Manufacturing with Operations Management BSc (Hons)
- Food Science and Innovation BSc (Hons)
- Food Manufacture with Marketing BSc (Hons)
- Food Science BSc (Hons)
- Food and Nutrition BSc (Hons)
- Food Technology and Product Development BSc (Hons)
Want to find out what University could offer you? We have your back!
There are plenty of graduate roles available in this sector. If you’ve just left university, a graduate scheme may give you the right experience to get your career off the ground in the food manufacturing industry. Most large food and drink manufacturers offer graduate placements in a varied array of disciplines, but it is important to not overlook the smaller enterprises that account for 96% of businesses in this sector. A graduate role or scheme is an excellent opportunity to prepare you for your career in the food industry and gain the experience that will be crucial in advancing your future prospects as you’ll develop the skills that will set you apart from others.
Want to know what graduate jobs are all about? We can help!
There are many routes into the food and manufacturing industry – many people find that they come across the sector by accident, rather than actively searching it out! You may initially want a career in engineering and end up working for a food manufacturing organisation, ensuring that the production process runs smoothly. Many people also choose to start their own food manufacturing companies from the comfort of their own home as entrepreneurs, so this is always a fantastic option.
Don’t pass up this tasty opportunity to search for your career in food manufacturing