What can the food and drink industry offer you?
There’s more to the food and drink industry than baking a loaf of bread. Careers span across science, technology, marketing, management and many other areas. HR director for food firm Macphie, Sylvia Halkerston, tells us about the varied roles in the industry and why one of them might be right for you.
‘If you reach Sunday night and you think, ‘Oh no it’s Monday tomorrow’ – get out, you’re in the wrong job,’ says Sylvia.
She believes the best way to make sure you look forward to Monday morning is to work somewhere that allows you to train and develop your career, which is something MacPhie offers. ‘I could give you many examples of people who have joined Macphie as one thing, but through training and development have progressed and progressed, and become something quite different,’ says Sylvia.
What training schemes are available?
The company provides many different career paths for people of all ages and backgrounds:
Modern Apprenticeships are available and a great way to start out in your food career. Under this scheme, you begin a SVQ programme as an apprentice engineer, baker or administrator while also getting practical experience at the company. In 2011, one of Macphie’s apprentices, Kyle Henry, picked up Bakery Apprentice of the Year.
Other employees are on day-release programmes and are working towards an HND in food science and technology.
Some have been supported to go to university to study for a BSc.
Making your mark
For Sylvia, there’s no better feeling than seeing someone who’s joined Macphie as a school leaver go on to make their mark in the company.
‘We have one woman who came to work for us as a factory operative and worked her way through various training courses.
‘She got into the University of Abertay, Dundee, and graduated two years ago with a BSc in food science and food technology. These days she works in our research and development department.
‘And wherever you are in your career, there’s always the potential to move on in this industry,’ says Sylvia.
‘We had two employees, one who was reaching a landmark birthday and was thinking about winding down. We discovered they had a lot more to give. So we supported them through SVQs in management.’
Find out more about Modern Apprenticeships and whether it might be the right move for you.