Types of Careers in the Food Industry UK
Those looking to work in the food and drink industry in the UK will find a rich and varied job environment, with plenty of different options for progression. If you’d love an insider view on this industry or food is your passion, there are many routes to take. Consider these career options, which are suited to all kinds of workers!
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Food production and factory operatives
At the very basic level of the food and drink industry, you can begin a career without any particular qualifications and even without a strong grasp of English. This is a popular option for those coming to the UK for the first time, but you can expect long hours for minimum wage. However, career progression is good, with supervisory roles offering the opportunity to earn experience that can be applied to more senior roles. This job is linked with the production, manufacture, and packaging of food and drink items at all stages of the process.
Engineering or mechanic roles
Skilled engineers and mechanics are always in demand in the UK’s food and drink industry. In fact, there is a shortage of people with the right qualifications, so if you want guaranteed work at competitive wages then this is a great area to train in. Career progression can include leading a team, and you could take up interim or consultant work with enough experience, which can attract a higher salary.
Managerial and executive jobs
There is often a whole team based in the office at any food and drink industry facility. This encompasses a lot of different roles: logistics, purchasing, contract negotiators, factory floor managers, marketing, and so on, all the way up to CEO and other executive roles. This can be another very competitive area for salary, though the roles become more elusive the higher up you get. Skills may be transferable into other manufacturing industries.
Accountancy and legal roles
Just like any other medium or large business, food and drink firms often need someone to handle their accounting as well as a legal team. These roles can be varied, giving you different work every day of the week or a daily grind. Once again, there is scope to grow to supervisory and executive roles (such as the CFO), and the skills you gain can easily be transferable to other industries.
If you can get an HGV license, you could have a lot of opportunities within the food and drink industry. Transport is very important, as goods need to move quickly from the source - often in another country - through to the processing site and then on to a distribution centre. From the distribution centre more opportunities abound to get the products out to individual stores. Career progression can be limited here as you may get stuck in the same role, though there are chances to move up to managing a fleet.
These are by no means all of the possibilities in the food and drink industry: each business may have different needs. However, this is a good overview to give you a strong idea of what is out there!