How do I get into the food industry?
Focus Graduates is a graduate recruiter - simple as that.
Therefore, we don't expect our candidates to have loads of experience in all types of food manufacturing.
As a general rule, you must have a 2.1 degree (some schemes may require a degree in a specific discipline) and 280 UCAS points (the equivalent of BBC).
However, if you're looking to get an edge against other people applying for food industry graduate schemes, the key can be Experience. Whether you are a graduate or not, previous experience working in the food industry can make your application much more attractive to potential employers.
How do I get experience?
Most graduates will at some point have had some experience in a working environment. If you haven't done an industrial placement however, it's often difficult to get any permanent work.
Below you'll find some avenues on how to get experience in food manufacturing:
Industrial placements - can be a good avenue to get experience, as you will then have a stronger proposition to give to your employer - a degree and a relevant industrial placement. These often form part of a degree, usually the 3rd year out a 4-year degree. They are particularly useful for getting a foot in the door into the food industry, as if you make a good enough impression on your employer over your placement year, you may well be invited back to join the company after graduating. Better still, they may sponsor you for your final year's course fees.
Work experience - whether voluntary or paid - is another way to gain experience. If you can arrange a few days or weeks worth of experience working either in a food factory or at a manufacturer's head office, this could be the break you need to get that interview. Getting paid for a work placement should not be the key driver - you don't do work placements to earn money, you do them to gain experience. If you come across an employer who isn't willing to pay, don't turn the opportunity down, if you can afford it.
Factory tours - you can contact a food manufacturing facility by searching for their contact details on the Internet and asking if they do public factory tours. You may know a contact at a factory who could arrange for you to have a look round so you can witness the environment first hand.
Summer work - there are plenty of factories who offer low-skilled labour positions in their factories. This can be a basic as bagging sweets or putting the cherry on a Cherry Bakewell Tart (this is an actual job!) - it all comes down to experience working in a food manufacturing environment.