Focus Management Consultants Limited

Recruitment Specialists for the food and drink industry

HR Testimonial

Name: Lucy
University attended: Nottingham Trent University
Degree Obtained: 2.1 BSc (Hons) Business and IT
Joined Scheme: 2008

Lucy is currently studying towards her CIPD qualification and is currently on her final placement role of the Accelerated Management Scheme. Bakkavor appealed to Lucy specifically for the range of businesses and experience that Bakkavor has to offer.

Working for a Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) company in the HR team is a highly rewarding and challenging experience.

The Bakkavor HR Accelerated Management Scheme is carefully structured to provide valuable insight into all aspects of the company's business whilst ensuring you receive external training for your CIPD qualification.  The scheme consists of three, one year, work placements in separate Bakkavor business units throughout the company.  The structure of the scheme ensures that you will find yourself contributing to real work from day one.

I joined Bakkavor in 2008 and began my first placement at Bourne Prepared Produce in Lincolnshire. The food industry is exciting and fast paced and nowhere more so than in our Produce businesses, the single biggest market Bakkavor operates in. Very quickly I learnt that organisational skills are vital in any HR role and I quickly learnt that they are needed to keep on top of the mass of new projects and demands from internal customers.

My first few weeks were spent in different functions gaining a good understanding of the business. Having never worked in HR my first role was aimed specifically at helping me develop a core understanding of the role HR plays within the business. My colleagues and managers were hugely supportive and made it easy for me to fit into my first real job.

Shortly after joining I began my CIPD studies. Working in a busy HR team gave me a good base to apply knowledge learnt from the workplace to aid the understanding of course work and vice versa. There are always issues arising that need to be managed, for example, you could plan to spend the whole day running a training course for Managers and 20 minutes into it they are all pulled out due to an urgent issue in the factory.

These sorts of issues are regular occurrences and therefore it is vital to prioritise, things don't always go to plan but this is what makes the role exciting!

Throughout my role I have worked closely with the operations team and it is essential you have a hands on approach; I have found myself prepping on the lines to gain a good understanding of the way the factory operates.  Influencing skills are essential, as you often find yourself in a situation where management want to do one thing, but you need to advise an alternative course of action - which isn't always to their liking!

I find both the regular Employment Law Updates and internal networking with fellow HR colleagues at other Bakkavor Sites useful tools to help keep up to date with changes.

Following eighteen months at my first placement I moved to Laurens Patisseries, based in Newark Nottinghamshire. This was a brilliant opportunity to work for a very successful business. Laurens Patisseries are currently going through an Integration and Empowerment programme which presents huge challenges ahead and a chance for me to develop within the role.

Overall, the fast paced environment keeps me on my toes, which means there is never a fear of boredom having the chance to set in!  The high level of exposure to different issues means that it can be rather demanding, but at the same time very rewarding.  There are always new challenges to overcome and this helps keep me motivated.  HR within Bakkavor is well respected and a key player in all major business decisions.  This, along with the fact that there is a clearly defined career path, means that the potential for growth within the department/business is great.

Bakkavor have exceeded all my expectations for my role I have gained a vast knowledge of experience in a short space of time. Bakkavor are committed to providing support and opportunities to its employees and have succeeded in all areas of the graduate scheme.