will gray premier foods

Name: Will Gray

Age: 23

Job title: Online technician

Company & location: Premier Foods, Worksop

Education: GCSEs at Orchard School

Why did you decide to go for a career in food? I decided to go for a career in the food industry as I was interested in understanding and learning about various food manufacturing processes. I also had a willingness to be involved in engineering and this is a huge part of this industry. When I saw an advertisement for apprentice technicians at Premier Foods in the local paper, I jumped at the opportunity to take this route into shaping a career for myself in this area.

Explain your job to us in a sentence (or two): As part of my job role, I am relied upon to maintain food production line equipment which produces brands such as Bisto and Saxa, carrying out routine and unplanned maintenance. I am also involved with projects that focus on continually improving the site across all areas, which adds variety to the role which I really enjoy.

What does a typical day look like for you? A typical day at Premier Foods involves maintaining the food production line equipment and carrying out work towards any ongoing projects I am involved with. This could include the installation of mechanical or electrical equipment, and potentially some fabrication work. Having joined Premier Foods as an apprentice, it was so valuable for me to learn all these skills on the job and it gave me a realistic picture of what a role in the food industry would entail. Every day can be different and it is great to have the opportunity to work on projects, in addition to the maintenance work I complete.

“For anyone considering an apprenticeship, I firmly believe it is one of the best routes to take following school”

Tell us about how you went about applying for your job. I submitted my CV to Premier Foods to join its apprenticeship scheme after I saw a job advert in the local paper. I liked the idea of having the chance to learn while earning money with a reputable company in the area. In the first instance, I attended an interview with West Notts College and after that, there were two stages of interviewing at Premier Foods. The most challenging part of the application process involved a 15-minute presentation on a hobby that we were passionate about. I chose to talk about BMX riding and even brought my bike in as a visual aid, which I’m sure helped me stand out from the crowd!

What’s the best part about working for a food company? I really enjoy seeing the production of our products from start to finish. We see the raw ingredients come in for delivery and I still love seeing it all come together, ending with a tub of Bisto Gravy Granules in households up and down the country.

And what’s the biggest misconception people have about working in food & drink? Most people think that if you work in a food factory you are just stood on a line watching food go past. It’s so much more than that! There are so many different jobs that you can do, and our line operators are never just stood watching the line go by, they are technical operators so they get involved in engineering tasks as well.

What advice would you give to other young people looking to get into the food & drink industry? Working in the food industry is both interesting and challenging, and in a varied factory like ours, there are loads of different roles you can do. For anyone considering an apprenticeship, I firmly believe it is one of the best routes to take following school. You have to be willing to listen, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes along the way, but I have learnt such a great deal and the programme has also helped my personal development.

What’s your ultimate career dream? I am really enjoying progressing at Premier Foods and am passionate about working in engineering and the food industry. I’d like to continue on this path and aspire to hold a role such as site engineering manager one day.

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