Jobs and Careers - Hilary Devey 2012 - (Page 165)

industries FOOD & DRINK considering food and drink as a non-academically-focused option for advancement, they should be aware that further academic endeavours will almost certainly be required, especially in more corporate areas. A PLATTER OF OPPORTUNITIES Such corporate activities, especially in the largest organisations, reach right across the business spectrum, from sales and marketing through to accountancy, logistics, IT and strategic planning. Due to its sheer scale and the huge diversity of activities comprising it, the food and drink industry provides a nearly unparalleled exposure to modern business practices, and hence is an excellent grounding for professionals keen to develop an understanding of the business landscape and how organisations evolve and succeed. FROM FARMER TO CHEF, THE FOOD AND DRINK INDUSTRY IS CENTRAL TO LIFE ITSELF success The taste of across the country in arenas from agriculture and dairy production through to fast food and luxury catering. Yet, perhaps because of its very accessibility and the profusion of entry-level and temporary positions available, the industry is rarely considered in the same glamorous light as certain other sectors, despite the excellent (and frequently well-remunerated) opportunities for managementlevel professionals to be found at the upper end of the ladder. However, these opportunities – due to the huge breadth of the base of the employment pyramid in this sector – need to be hard fought-for; advancement in this business requires great dedication as well as ability, and demonstrating a willingness to muck in and take on one’s share of the dirty work – from the factory floor to the boardroom – is indispensable. In many ways, food and drink may be considered one of the least elitist industries, as it is eminently possible for an employee to rise from the lowest level and without (at least initially) a degree or even lesser qualifications. While the romantic vision of an unqualified school-leaver working his/her way up to the top job in a major company may now be more myth than reality, it’s certainly true that such a career path remains theoretically possible and that, through the combination of hard work and ability, career progression can be achieved, often fairly quickly. Most large organisations will, however, require potential managerial candidates to undergo (sometimes relatively arduous) internal and external qualifications, many of which require a good academic grounding. So while readers who may have been disappointed with their school or sixth-form qualifications might be T WORDS: Jamie Liddell | PICTURES: Getty Images he food and drink industry is a crucial contributor to both UK employment and the national economy. Indeed, according to the Food and Drink Federation, production alone in this area represents “the UK’s biggest manufacturing sector,” directly employing more than 400,000 people, with hundreds of thousands more working at the service end of the trade, in bars, restaurants and cafés throughout the country. For many people, waiting, bar or kitchen work represents their first engagement with employment and, while for some these prove temporary positions, for others they flourish into successful careers with some of the world’s biggest companies. Career can progression ed iev often be ach y fairly quickl One of the main advantages of this industry is its great and constant demand. People always need to eat and drink – whereas demand for many other products fluctuates according to economic conditions. Even if turnover has declined as the job market has tightened, it remains high compared with many other industries, and thousands of opportunities remain available. There is no such thing as a “job for life” any more, but those looking for an “industry for life”, along with many other advantages, could do a lot worse than consider a career in food and drink. MAJOR EMPLOYER The diversity of employment opportunity is one of the most immediately attractive aspects of the food and drink industry, with an ongoing requirement for staff 165

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Jobs and Careers - Hilary Devey 2012

Hilary's hello
The home office
Dress to impress
The woman at the top
Your guide to education
Intern success
What do you mean?
CV don’ts
The thrill of the search
Money matters
Moving on.
Let’s get medical
Medical know-how
Caring and sharing
A senior moment?
Keeping it clean
Going global
Funeral services
Home sweet home
Constructing a career
As good as new
Power on
Engineering heroes
Changing gear
A bright spark!
Water work
Bank on it
Insure your career
Nice supplies
Get creative!
Don’t sell yourself short
Food for thought
Hilary Devey Q&A
Get connected
Online round-up

Jobs and Careers - Hilary Devey 2012