Premier Foods provides insight into FS industry careers at schools

Premier Foods has partnered with two schools in St Albans, including Loreto College, to provide local students studying food technology with an insight into the world of work in the catering, hospitality and food manufacturing industries. The partnerships also aim to help students develop transferable employment skills.

After an initial presentation given by Premier Foods’ Executive Chef Mark Rigby about the varying career options within the industry, the budding chefs were tasked to create a tasty lunch menu comprising seven savoury and sweet dishes from a list of ingredients in an hour and a half. As part of this, the students used a number of Premier Foods’ products including Sharwood’s cooking sauces and Ambrosia Custard.

The students were split into two teams and were judged on teamworking, cleanliness, presentation and overall taste of the dishes they prepared. After the session, the students were able to enjoy everything they cooked for lunch.

As well as guiding the students while they were in the kitchen, Rigby took the chance to speak to them about the importance of aiming higher in their careers, learning a trade well, finding a mentor and achieving a good work/life balance.

Premier Foods’ Executive Chef, Mark Rigby said, “The food industry has changed immensely and offers bigger, better and more interesting career opportunities. It’s not just the culinary basis of food that’s interesting, it’s also the science of food.

'It was great to be able to welcome in some of our local students to talk about this, get them involved in some cooking and make them aware of the varying career options available to them, many of which are possible through working at Premier Foods.

“We really enjoyed holding our first head office visit with Loreto College which I hope inspired some of the students to consider a career within the industry.”

Loreto College’s Assistant Head Teacher, Naomi Ross said, “Our students were really excited to come and see the work of the chefs at Premier Foods and the opportunities which a career in catering, hospitality and food manufacturing can offer. It is a great chance for our students to learn about how they can apply the skills they gain in their food technology lessons in real life.”

Anne Bordier, Charity Programmes Director at IGD, said, “Now in its third year, the School Partnerships initiative is already having a big impact. Some 89% of students that took part in the initiative last year felt more prepared for the world of work.

'The School Partnerships initiative is part of IGD’s Feeding Britain’s Future campaign, which has been helping students since 2015 to develop their employability skills. The campaign brings the food and grocery industry together to inspire the next generation and has trained 35,000 students nationwide.”

The partnership between Premier Foods and Loreto College is part of the IGD’s Feeding Britain’s programme that links food and grocery businesses with local secondary schools to build an ongoing relationship.

Premier Foods manufacturers some of Britain’s best loved brands including Mr Kipling, Batchelors, Angel Delight and Cadbury Cake. The company head office has been based in St Albans since 2002 and also houses a large professional kitchen where the workshop was held and the students cooked their lunch.