Get A Graduate Job at Associated British Foods
Katie Davill, Graduate Talent Officer
Have you thought about joining the food industry?
We’ve all been there. Staring blankly into the food cupboard wondering whether we can rustle up anything more creative than a fourth consecutive night of beans on toast.
But have you ever wondered where that loaf, those beans, your mug of tea or the (three) spoons of sugar that you stir in actually come from? How do they end up on the shelves, and in your cupboard? Who decides the colour of your box of crackers, the size of your jar of curry sauce, or where the raisins in your muesli were grown?
The food industry is vast, fast-paced and exciting. Food and drink is the single largest sector of manufacturing in the UK and the opportunities to learn, develop and get stuck in are endless. You’ll need to be adaptable, resilient, driven and enthusiastic in this ever-changing industry - a passion for eating helps, too!
Why choose Associated British Foods?
Here at Associated British Foods, a diversified international food, ingredients & retail group with sales in excess of £13bn, over 130,000 employees and a presence in 50 countries, we are passionate about our brands. The UK Grocery division comprises of eight individual businesses that manufacture, market and sell a huge variety of brands; that Kingsmill loaf, the Twinings tea, Silver Spoon sugar, Ryvita crackers, Patak’s curry sauce and Jordans cereal (as well as many more!). Every year, we look to find 20-25 brilliant graduates to join those businesses across functions such as Marketing, Supply Chain, Procurement, Customer Development, HR and Engineering to get real jobs, with real responsibility and make a difference.
Our structure provides massive opportunity to learn about different categories, markets, manufacturing processes and cultures, all whilst exploring the same wider organisation, and for most of our schemes, you’ll start the learning process by moving business within your two-year programme. We know we’re dropping you in at the deep end, but fear not! You’ll get plenty of support through a buddy, mentor and great line manager, as well as a full training programme.
Once you’ve decided that working in food is for you, the next challenge is what you want to do! The good news is that there’s plenty of choice. Here’s a brief overview of what our grads get up to across the seven functions for which we have schemes:
Sometimes called sales, our Customer Development graduates focus on building strong relationships with our customers, understanding their needs and delivering against them, using market information to make sure consumers have the right choices in store, and maximising opportunities in new spaces, like online. It’s not cold calling, telesales or one-off conversations with disinterested people.
In Marketing, our graduates get involved in brand strategy and planning, understanding our consumers, analysing brand performance and working on integrated marketing campaigns, including aspects such as new product development, briefing agencies, assessing creative work and executing digital campaigns.
Supply Chain & Operations
Supply Chain is one of the largest functions in our businesses and covers everything from field to fork. Our graduates move around different parts of the supply chain, often including manufacturing, technical and food safety, production planning and health and safety. They might manage a team of people early on and need to be resilient and willing to get their hands dirty!
Human Resources is focused on helping our businesses to succeed through their people; by recruiting great talent, supporting the development of skills and behaviours and creating the climate and culture to enable high levels of performance. Our HR graduates get to experience their function from both an Operations and Commercial perspective across two businesses.
From manufacturing quality products efficiently and safely, to ensuring delivery on time, the Engineering function in our businesses is vital. Our graduates gain hands-on experience of production, learn about the processes and machinery used in manufacturing our products, spend time on the production line, solve breakdown problems and get involved in ongoing maintenance.
Procurement, or buying, is all about sourcing the ingredients, materials and services that we need to keep our businesses running and produce the products that we sell. Our Procurement graduates spend two years getting experience of buying in two different businesses and use their analytical skills, ability to influence and manage stakeholders to ensure we’re sourcing the right products and the right quality and for the right price.
In Technical, our graduates gain broad, practical experience across the function, covering aspects such as testing of raw materials and finished products, supporting new product development, completing finished product specifications, working as part of the technical team on our manufacturing sites and carrying out audits to facilitate the improvement of food safety at our sites.
When you start your application remember to be yourself and show us your true colours. Our desire is that we can see who you are and how you would fit in our business as that is hugely important for us. Here at ABF, we hate the generic answers to questions or those applications forms which could be for any business. My key piece of advice would be to think about how you can show us your personality throughout the whole process from application form to assessment centre. How do you want us to remember you?
Good luck with our process and we look forward to reading your application soon!