Product Development Apprentice Technologist at Premier Foods

Start Date:
Programme Type:
Degree Apprenticeship / Sponsored Degree (Level 6/7)
Review Date:
April 2021

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1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:


The day-to-day role is often very varied, but mainly consists of developing recipes for new and existing products. This often involves preparing recipes before tasting them and making alterations based on feedback. Working in this role, I have also had to work with other teams and departments to gain feedback and advice on how a project may continue.

2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?


I have definitely both learned new skills and developed existing ones. Working in a large company, and also as part of my degree, I have been able to develop my communication skills through reaching out to colleagues for advice in unfamiliar areas, as well as communicating with my peers at university to develop wider understanding of the food industry.

3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?


Since completing my first university assignment, I have really enjoyed applying what I have learned to work straight away. I have also enjoyed the more social element of meeting new like-minded people through my degree. Furthermore, I really enjoy the balance of practical work with my employer, and more theoretical and academic work through the university.

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4. How well organised/structured is your programme?


So far, the university course is very well structured and consistent, and there is lots of support in how to apply the course into work. At work, I have had well-structured training from the ground up, and I feel as though I will be very capable by the end of my apprenticeship

5. How much support do you receive from your employer?


My team, line manager, and department manager are all very approachable and supportive. I haven't used much of the wider support network through the HR department, but all colleagues are made aware of this and there are regular training and awareness sessions around mental health and well-being. Further to this, all new employees have a "mentor" for general support if they feel they can't speak to their line manager.

6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?


Sheffield Hallam have been very supportive so far. Communication is clear and the staff are always approachable. They understand that as apprentices, we have unique obstacles and are supportive with this too. Each course has a work-based development coach who helps translate information from the university into the context of the work place. In addition to this, apprentices are treated equally to full-time students and have access to all the same support resources.

7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?


Through the apprenticeship, I have learned more about my business and the food industry as a whole much faster than I otherwise would have done. The nature of the university assignments pushes apprenticeships to get in contact with departments they wouldn't otherwise work with, and this really helps with building the bigger picture of how the business and industry work.

8. Are there extra-curricular activities to get involved in at your work? (For example, any social activities, sports teams, or even professional networking events.)


Premier Foods support charities by enabling employees to enter charity events such as the London Marathon. In addition to this, we have a social team which has organised small fundraisers (quizzes, Easter-egg hunts etc). I have also seen social events such as virtual coffee mornings and drop-in sessions during lunch times to share stories around social issues. Overall though, I haven't found these particularly engaging, but these may appeal more to others - things may improve as COVID restrictions are eased.

9a. Would you recommend Premier Foods to a friend?


9b. Why?

I would recommend Premier Foods because of the strong community spirit within the workplace. Since starting my apprenticeship, everyone has been extremely kind and helpful. It has been somewhat challenging to adjust to different people's working styles since starting full-time work, but no one has been difficult to get on with. I find my job enjoyable and varied, with a good balance between practical and office work. Premier Foods also have a good range of employee benefits and support access.

10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Premier Foods?

Applying to Premier Foods, and in particular an apprenticeship. You need to be passionate about learning and developing, it's not just about being foodie (although this is important too!). Overall though, I think it is important to be yourself in your application, and don't try to exaggerate qualities you don't have in the first place.

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