Imaginative Teaching Resources & Inspirational Career Ideas from the Chilled Food Industry
What subjects did you study at school and to what level?
I did a year of A-Levels, achieved AS in Biology, Chemistry and Food Science & Nutrition, then went to college for two years and achieved my level 3 Professional Chef Diploma. I am currently working towards my Food Industry Technical Professional Degree through my apprenticeship with Samworth Brothers
What appealed to you about the apprenticeship route into the industry?
I loved the idea of having a degree and going to university, but during Covid I began working full time until my college course finished. I didn’t really want to stop earning whilst attending university, so I combined the two and now earn while I learn, managing a full-time job and my degree.
How did you find out about it?
My mum worked within Samworth Brothers, and I had originally applied for the Higher Level Apprenticeship scheme, and was offered this position, but turned it down as it would have involved relocation which I wasn’t capable of at the time. So instead, I applied for a raw material QA role within Samworth at my local site, Kettleby Foods, then was offered to join the degree apprenticeship and remain at Kettleby whilst in my current role.
When did you join your company? What brought you to it?
I joined Samworth Brothers as a raw material QA and started in June 2021. I am currently working as a raw material technician and have been in this role for almost 11 months now.
How do you find the split between working and study?
It can be a challenge at times, but you just need to keep organised. I have regular catch ups with my manager, and if needed, I can allocate some working hours towards completing assessments and projects. My projects often incorporate what I’m doing at university which really helps with this too.
When do you first become interested in Food Science?
I always loved food technology in school, and I was incredibly inspired by my food technology teacher, Mrs Marley at the Kimberley School in Nottingham. I ended up completing a year of my A levels simply because I wanted to keep her as my teacher, as she supported me so much when I decided I wanted to go into the industry. I did my college course learning to be a chef, however realised how much I missed the science and technology side, now I’m completing my degree and realise how much I hate cooking!
What does your role involve? Is it fun, interesting?
My day-to-day role involves working on raw material specifications, which includes talking to our suppliers, and other sites with Samworth and group. I also work on a new project each month with varies depending on what I am interested in and the business demands. Working on something brand new can be a challenge but always keeps things fresh and interesting.
What are your long-term career plans?
My worst question! Truthfully, I do not know the exact job role I want to do. I am enjoying what I do now within technical services, though would look to explore other options such as working in new product development, or even auditing. I will see what opportunities arise and see where that takes me.
What advice would you give to someone thinking about Food Science as a career? And perhaps taking up an apprenticeship?
Take the opportunities when they arise and challenge yourself! Don’t be afraid to make a mistake, it’s how you learn, and in this industry, there is always something new to explore.
If you are considering a degree apprenticeship, do your research on the company and the apprenticeship, it can really help the application process when you have knowledge on what you’re applying for. It also gives an edge over other candidate’s and shows you’re interested in the company.
Anything else to add?
People will always need to eat, and there is always new research and trends to keep things interesting. The food industry is huge, and there will always be a role for you in it, no matter what you enjoy!