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International China Graduate Scheme

This graduate programme relates to opportunities in our China business.

We are looking for our future business leaders and this three-year programme provides a fast-track route into management within the businesses that Bakkavor operates across China. Within the programme our UK and China teams collaborate to support early careers talent in our growing China operations.

The programme is shaped by the needs of the Asia business, with the UK team supporting the UK element of the programme and any on-going development once graduates transfer into the Asia businesses. The programme offers a perfect blend of experience and exposure to the UK food market and operations, and connects this with your knowledge and experience of China, to deliver fantastic food products and great customer service for our Asia customers.

Which Areas Do We Recruit For?

Each year, we consider the future needs of the China business and therefore the offering may change year to year, so keep an eye on our vacancies! You can expect opportunities within Product Development, Commercial, Supply Chain & Operations and Food Technology. We do also take in other roles.

Our current programmes are listed below:

China Product Development Graduate Programme

Product Development – China

Year 2 & 3 location

Shanghai, China

Degree requirements

A food or development related discipline – such as Food Science, Food Safety, Nutrition, Hospitality, Agriculture, Product Development

Details of role

Many have a real passion for food. Few can complement it with the knowledge and understanding needed to produce it. For those people, this is the perfect programme.

Here you’ll get the chance to influence the nation’s table in the months and years ahead. Working both independently and as part of a team of chefs and technologists, you’ll develop new and innovative products – by mixing, matching and evolving flavours across new food trends.

This is a fabulous opportunity to get a solid foundation from which a career in New Product Development could be nurtured. Placements focus on working within the NPD team on idea generation, recipe development, new product trials and product launches.

The aim of this programme is to expand the skills and experience within the NPD teams, to allow the teams to become more innovative. This will allow us to lead on innovation for the customer and not just executors of customer briefs. From Year 2, you will be in the role of Development Technologist, working with a development plan towards a Senior Development Technologist role.

Who are we looking for?

Candidates who can naturally display a passion for food, have good kitchen skills and a true tenacity and willingness to progress, should apply. You’ll also need the awareness needed to come up with ideas that are as commercially viable as they are exciting. To do this takes tenacity and a real desire to make progress.

Apply Now

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China Process R&D Graduate Programme

Process (R&D) – China

Year 2 & 3 location

Shanghai, China

Degree requirements

A food or manufacturing related discipline – such as Food Science, Food Safety, Manufacturing, Chemical Engineering

Details of role

The role title is Process Technologist, locally called a Process Engineer.

If you have a love of food, an innovative and naturally curious nature, and would take great pride in seeing products on supermarket shelves that you have worked hard to perfect, then this role is perfect for you. Process act as the bridge between the Development team and the factory, and sit within the Research & Development function. The role is divided between the factory and the office.

Within this role, you will be working closely with multiple cross-functional teams. This is a great opportunity to gain in depth knowledge of the role, whilst also giving you the chance to develop an all-round understanding of manufacturing, from start to finish.

You’ll work independently as well as part of a team, focusing on learning the key steps involved in taking products from concept sign off stage, through the factory trials and including a successful product launch.

The aim of this programme is to grow and expand the R&D team by taking the knowledge and key learnings from the UK best practice and transferring those skillsets to the team in China. From Year 2, you will be in the role of Process Technologist (Process Engineer), working with a development plan towards a Senior Process Technologist role post-programme.

Who are we looking for?

Those who have a passion for food development and production! Candidates who are natural problem solvers and have innovative ways of thinking should apply. You'll also need to be naturally curious and a drive to think outside the box to seek out new opportunities and ways of doing this to ensure that new concepts hit the mark. To do this takes tenacity and a real desire to make progress.

Apply Now

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China Food Technology Graduate Programme

Food Technology – China (Shanghai)

Year 2 & 3 location

Shanghai and trips to a factory location in China

Degree requirements

You’ll need a technical, food related or science based degree (biology, chemistry, microbiology).

Details of role

If you’re interested in the scientific and technical aspects of food manufacturing, this programme offers a brilliant springboard into a lasting and rewarding career. Join Bakkavor in this fascinating area, and you’ll find yourself working with teams across our business to ensure we develop and manufacture safe, high-quality food products day in day out.

You’ll be helping to determine what can and can’t be done with processes and technology, and work with others to find innovative solutions to all kinds of issues. It’s a role that calls for a decisive, confident approach that is coupled with a desire to continue learning and developing your knowledge. Expect to gain key skills in everything from food safety, food labelling and microbiology to internal auditing and factory hygiene. Not to mention management and leadership.

The aim of this programme is to support the Technical function in China, from our UK model to help provide a talent pipeline for these business-critical roles. From Year 2, you will be in working in a Quality Systems Technologist/Engineer role, with a development plan working towards a QA Supervisor role or Technical Services Manager.

Who are we looking for?

Candidates who are detail-orientated, results driven, problem solvers and have logical food technical acumen, and can effectively build relationships and influence others.

Apply Now

Food Technology – China (Taicang – Bakery Site)

Year 2 & 3 location

Taicang, Shanghai area – this role is within our Bakery factory

Degree requirements

You’ll need a technical, food related or science based degree (biology, chemistry, microbiology).

Details of role

If you’re interested in the scientific and technical aspects of food manufacturing, this programme offers a brilliant springboard into a lasting and rewarding career. Join Bakkavor in this fascinating area, and you’ll find yourself working with teams across our business to ensure we develop and manufacture safe, high-quality food products day in day out.

You’ll be helping to determine what can and can’t be done with processes and technology, and work with others to find innovative solutions to all kinds of issues. It’s a role that calls for a decisive, confident approach that is coupled with a desire to continue learning and developing your knowledge. Expect to gain key skills in everything from food safety, food labelling and microbiology to internal auditing and factory hygiene. Not to mention management and leadership.

The aim of this programme is to support the Technical function in China, from our UK model to help provide a talent pipeline for these business-critical roles. From Year 2, you will be in working in a Quality Systems Technologist/Engineer role, with a development plan working towards a QA Supervisor role or Technical Services Manager.

Who are we looking for?

Candidates who are detail-orientated, results driven, problem solvers and have logical food technical acumen, and can effectively build relationships and influence others.

Apply Now

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China Supply Chain & Operations Graduate Programme

Supply Chain & Operations – China

Year 2 & 3 location

Shanghai, China

Degree requirements

A discipline that relates to Supply Chain, Planning, Logistics, Manufacturing, Business, Food Science, Food Safety, Economics or Chemical Engineering,

Details of role

Bakkavor use materials, labour and equipment to create thousands of products every day. Your challenge will be to get them all together in the right place at the right time, in the right quantity – and then shape their production to ensure we meet our customer orders.

We’ll look to you to ensure that processes and strategy plans are as efficient as possible, while adapting to the changing needs of our customers and consumers. Ultimately, you support and deliver the outstanding service they expect.

Our Asia business is growing, and with a wide range of products, ingredients and customers, all of which have a short shelf life, means our Supply Chain and Planning colleagues are essential to the effective operations of our business.

This role will give you the experience and knowledge of planning and supply chain networks in a fresh prepared food manufacturing environment, with the aim of progressing you to Supply Chain managerial roles.

Who are we looking for?

We are looking for graduates who can bring an innovative approach, a high attention to detail and logical systems thinking to support our operations.

Apply Now

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China Commercial Graduate Programme

Commercial Sales & Management – China

Year 2 & 3 location

Shanghai, China

Degree requirements

A business, management, economics or finance related discipline

Details of role

Our Commercial teams are key in driving our customer relationships and business value. Join us on our Commercial programme and you’ll be embarking on a rewarding career at the heart of food manufacturing. You’ll be given the opportunity to shape the future of our business.

From day one, you’ll contribute to key business projects and add value to your team. We’ll give you valuable exposure to New Product Development, Production, Purchasing and many other departments. And we’ll get you liaising with our customers, which include many of the biggest names in UK retail.

This role is for people with a real passion for business, relationship building and developing plans for the future whilst gaining exposure in differing markets, and different customers.

The aim of this programme is to have a talent pipeline of people coming into Commercial so that as the business expands there will be the depth and experience within the Commercial function to support that.

You will be working towards a Key Account Supervisor role at the end of the 3 year programme, responsible for customer relationships and working closely with Marketing and Development.

Who are we looking for?

A passion for building relationships and delivering business value. You’ll need to be confident speaking to customers, business focused, numerate, analytical and PC savvy.

Apply Now

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China Finance Graduate Programme

Finance – China

Year 2 & 3 location

Shanghai, China

Degree requirements

A discipline that relates to Finance, Business, Accounting, Economics or similar background.

Details of role

This programme provides interaction with different parts of the business, to help gain a more rounded understanding of the Bakkavor Group. The roles will cover the core skills including, management accounting, financial management, risk management and process evaluation and redesign. The Finance Programme is aimed at providing long term succession planning within the finance function.

You’ll work on a personal development plan, and the Graduate Champion will highlight the experience required. Ultimately, it’s about giving you the in-depth understanding you need to reach a key financial management role within 5 years.

Who are we looking for?

Candidates who are business savvy, numerate, analytical and influential. Those who wish to have a career in a more applied area of Finance, that’s dynamic and works with tangible food products.

Apply Now

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Hong Kong Commercial Graduate Programme

Commercial Sales & Management – Hong Kong

Year 2 & 3 location

Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong

Degree requirements

A business, management, economics or finance related discipline.

Details of role

Our Commercial teams are key in driving our customer relationships and business value. Join us on our Commercial programme and you’ll be embarking on a rewarding career at the heart of food manufacturing. You’ll be given the opportunity to shape the future of our business.

From day one, you’ll contribute to key business projects and add value to your team. We’ll give you valuable exposure to New Product Development, Production, Purchasing and many other departments. And we’ll get you liaising with our customers, which include many of the biggest names in UK retail.

This role is for people with a real passion for business, relationship building and developing plans for the future whilst gaining exposure in differing markets, and different customers.

The aim of this programme is to have a talent pipeline of people coming into Commercial so that as the business expands there will be the depth and experience within the Commercial function to support that.

You will be working towards a Key Account Supervisor role at the end of the 3 year programme, responsible for customer relationships and working closely with Marketing and Development.

Who are we looking for?

A passion for building relationships and delivering business value. You’ll need to be confident speaking to customers, business focused, numerate, analytical and PC savvy.

Apply Now

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Hong Kong Product Development Graduate Programme

Product Development – Hong Kong

Year 2 & 3 location

Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong

Degree requirements

A food or development related discipline – such as Food Science, Food Safety, Nutrition, Hospitality, Agriculture, Product Development.

Details of role

Many have a real passion for food. Few can complement it with the knowledge and understanding needed to produce it. For those people, this is the perfect programme.

Here you’ll get the chance to influence the nation’s table in the months and years ahead. Working both independently and as part of a team of chefs and technologists, you’ll develop new and innovative products – by mixing, matching and evolving flavours across new food trends.

This is a fabulous opportunity to get a solid foundation from which a career in New Product Development could be nurtured. Placements focus on working within the NPD team on idea generation, recipe development, new product trials and product launches.

The aim of this programme is to expand the skills and experience within the NPD teams, to allow the teams to become more innovative. This will allow us to lead on innovation for the customer and not just executors of customer briefs. From Year 2, you will be in the role of Development Technologist, working with a development plan towards a Senior Development Technologist role.

Who are we looking for?

Candidates who can naturally display a passion for food, have good kitchen skills and a true tenacity and willingness to progress, should apply. You’ll also need the awareness needed to come up with ideas that are as commercially viable as they are exciting. To do this takes tenacity and a real desire to make progress.

Apply Now

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Hong Kong Manufacturing and Operations Graduate Programme

Manufacturing & Operations – Hong Kong

Year 2 & 3 location

Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong

Degree requirements

A discipline that relates to Supply Chain, Planning, Logistics, Manufacturing, Business, Food Science, Food Safety, Economics or Chemical Engineering.

Details of role

Bakkavor use materials, labour and equipment to create thousands of products every day. Your challenge will be to get them all together in the right place at the right time, in the right quantity – and then shape their production to ensure we meet our customer orders.

We’ll look to you to ensure that processes and strategy plans are as efficient as possible, while adapting to the changing needs of our customers and consumers. Ultimately, you support and deliver the outstanding service they expect. This role is between the factory and the office, supporting factory based teams.

Our Asia business is growing, and with a wide range of products, ingredients and customers, all of which have a short shelf life, means our Manufacturing colleagues are essential to the effective operations of our business. Your target role will be management level in Manufacturing & Operations for the Hong Kong business.

Who are we looking for?

We are looking for influential graduates who can bring an innovative approach, a high attention to detail and logical thinking to support our operations.

Apply Now

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The programme structure

Year 1

United Kingdom

A 12-month UK-based placement – this could be within any of our UK factory locations and may involve several to give you breadth and exposure. Leadership, business and functional training will also occur in this placement.

Year 2 & 3

China

24 months completing the programme, working in role. Some of the roles may be in Hong Kong, where this is the case it is clearly stated.

Year 4 and beyond

China

The future is yours – our programme is an accelerated one, so we want you to reach management roles within a short period after you have completed the programme, with real responsibility and opportunities to drive change and success.

What will the programme offer you?

Reward Package
  • A current starting salary, allowance and bonus package upon starting of 151,000 RMB once you begin your placement in China, increasing to 208,068 RMB in your 2nd year in China
  • For any of our Hong Kong roles, the salary, allowance and bonus package reflect the local market and accommodation costs
  • For the UK-based induction and training placement year before relocating to China – your total UK reward package will be aligned to China and takes into consideration UK based living costs - £18,500 + £6,000 UK allowance
  • Relocation Financial Assistance (for each graduate placement)
  • Support in securing your visa for the UK training placement
A broad Support & Development Network
  • A dedicated Champion for your functional programme – one in the UK, and one in China
  • A Mentor to support and guide your development
  • A Buddy to help introduce you to the business
  • A Graduate Team to coordinate the programme and offer advice
  • You’ll join as a Cohort, with up to 20 other UK graduates + our China Graduate Programme graduates, not to mention a wide community of graduates who joined in the years before you
  • A Line Manager who will complete regular performance reviews and support you through a skills chart checklist of experience
Programme offer
A Suite of Training & Development Opportunities
  • Dedicated graduate leadership training events
  • Programme Workshops and exposure to other functions
  • Rotational Placements to broaden your experience
  • Management Skills training
  • A visit to China in your first year
  • A 3rd year visit to the UK
Career Progression & Responsibility
  • This is an accelerated programme into management roles, and due to Bakkavor’s size and breadth, we are able to work with you to identify the right career opportunities for your professional development towards senior leadership roles in the future
  • You’ll take responsibility for your work area and personal development from day one

What you’ll need to apply

The most important thing for us is a motivated attitude to develop your career and an ambition to progress to senior leadership roles within Bakkavor. Whilst the programme is 3 years in length, our target is to offer your career opportunities to continue your professional development once the programme is complete.

We do have some criteria that we will be looking for – you’ll need these to pass our assessment screening process:

  • Achieved, or are expected to achieve, at least a 2:2 honours degree or master’s degree – one of these should be from within the UK
  • Three months' or more of work experience in a professional type environment in any country, a role within the food industry or manufacturing, or related to your chosen discipline (for example, a 3-month office internship)
  • A 'right to work' in China, and have no restrictions to apply for a Tier 5 visa in the UK
  • A clearly articulated motivation to progress your career in the food industry
  • Flexibility to complete rotational placements, starting in the UK and relocating on a long-term basis in China (move to first placement, and move to second placement which can be in any of our locations)
  • Fluent in Mandarin (we will also consider Cantonese, particularly for Hong Kong)
  • Graduates who align to the Bakkavor Values
  • A level of business and commercial acumen
  • A preference is for candidates to have a driving license due to our remote locations for some placements, however this is not essential
Microsoft Team

All placements are subject to successful right to work checks, and eligibility to work in the UK and China.

How to apply and what to expect

Please apply through our website by clicking here. We will accept applications in the Autumn of each year, for an October start on the UK placement. Relocation and a start in China will be after 12 months from starting. Please apply to one role, if you are interested in another please state this on your application.

If you would like more information, please email SP.GraduateEnquiries@Bakkavor.com

We will review your application, and check that it meets our requirements, before inviting you to complete a situational judgment test and an online psychometric test. If successful, you will then proceed to an online video interview followed by an assessment centre, involving interviews with some of our UK, and China based colleagues.

Top Tips

  • Be yourself! It’s important you demonstrate to us your great qualities so we can see your fit for our graduate programme, we want to get the best out of you
  • Take your time! It’s a busy period for you, but getting things is right is something we believe in. Relax, and set aside enough time to complete each stage
  • Show your passion! We love to meet passionate graduates who have a desire to progress in their careers
  • Having a passion for food or the supply of food is important to all our programmes
  • Ask Questions. At the assessment centre stage, you’ll have the opportunity to meet with some of our current graduates, a great opportunity to get to know the programme in more detail
  • Come to a Careers Fair! We’ll be coming to various career fairs across the UK. Come and meet us so we can bring our programmes to life for you
  • Video Interviews. Choose an appropriate environment, read the questions carefully and give it your best shot. Don’t worry too much about this, it's more simple than you think and imagine you’re talking to a fellow graduate

When do you open and close for applications?

We open for applications from the Autumn for the following year’s intake, applications normally close before Easter in the UK. Once we have received enough applications for our graduate programmes, we will be closing them, so be sure to get your application early and try not to leave it until last minute.

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What are the minimum qualification requirements?

We are looking for a minimum of a 2:2 honours degree and at least three months' relevant work experience. Please refer to the 'What You'll Need To Apply' section above for a full list of requirements before applying.

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If I am rejected from the process can I reapply?

You can only apply once in each application year. If you were unsuccessful in one campaign you are welcome to apply from the next Autumn opening.

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Where will the role be based?

This depends on the programme. We truly believe that by rotating placements, you are exposed to broader learning opportunities. Our sites are located across the whole of the UK so you will need to show great flexibility when considering where your UK location will be. The majority of roles in China are based in the Head Office, in Shanghai.

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When do i find out where my first placement will be?

We commit to letting you know the June before you start, providing you with 2-3 months’ notice to organise your accommodation and check out your new location! We’ll link you with other new graduates, or existing graduates, so you can explore sharing arrangements should you wish to.

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Do i need a driving license?

It is not mandatory but preferable to have a driving license and access to your own transport due to the locations of some of the placements.

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I have submitted my registration, when will i hear from you?

Once you have submitted your registration form, we will send you an email confirming it has been received. In addition, you can also keep track of the current status of your application in your online account area. We will update your account area and send you an email to advise you of next steps.

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How do bakkavor support uk visa applications?

We ask graduates to apply for their own visas, however Bakkavor provide full support and advice during this process and will cover the costs of the application. We also organise to complete the Certificate of Sponsorship, as you’ll need this to submit your location. You can apply from within the UK if you have completed a degree in the UK that directly relates to the role; however, most applications will need to be from the consulate office in China.

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