What’s it all about then?
If you enjoy working as part of a team and don’t mind physical work then the warehouse operative job in a food company could be a good choice for you.
You’ll be responsible for dealing with all of the materials coming into the company warehouse. These could be raw materials, packaging or other supplies needed within the business or during the course of production.
That means unloading pallets and other goods and storing and recording them correctly. You need to be on the ball and observant - checking for any damaged goods or wrong totals on invoices etc.
What might I be doing?
The exact nature of the job might vary slightly as food companies have different intake areas for different raw materials which often require different handling and storage:
However you’re likely to have some or all of the following tasks:
- Taking delivery of stock, goods and supplies
- Unloading incoming goods (forklift truck licence required)
- Checking for damaged or missing items
- Storing goods in the correct areas of the warehouse
- Moving stock around by hand, using lifting gear or a forklift truck
- Picking and packing orders for production use
- Keeping accurate records of stock
- Keeping paperwork up to date
- Keeping work areas tidy and clean
What will be expected of me?
While you’ll be part of a team, you may be required to work alone from time-to-time. You’ll be expected to be able to carry out you work safely and effectively at all times and maintain company Health & Safety rules at all times.
You should have good Maths and written English skills and be handy on a computer and keyboard as all are needed within the job. You should be in good physical health as due to the nature of food manufacturing and handling perishable goods with time critical freshness or use-by dates, you’ll be expected to work quickly and you should be able to deal with requests promptly and in a professional manner.
As well as being physically fit, you will also be honest, reliable and a good timekeeper.
What can I expect?
Your typically working week will be 40 hours but this may involve working at different times of the day on different shifts or weekends if your company needs you to.
Of course this means you’ll avoid rush-hour traffic and enjoy shift bonus payments as well as the potential opportunity for occasional overtime.
In some food companies, you may be working in a chilled environment which means you’ll wear warm clothing, however in all cases you’ll not be asked to work anywhere unless you have been kitted out properly with the proper safety clothing.
What about the pay?
You’re likely to start on around £12,500 a year and this should increase as you gain experience and are given more responsibility. Eexperienced warehouse operatives can earn up to £18,000 a year.
What qualifications do I need to get in?
You do not need any specific qualifications to be a warehouse operative, but many food companies will require you to have some qualifications in English and Maths.
A qualification in IT would also be useful to have for this job - as would a fork truck licence, although this may form part of your on-the-job training and development plan.
You may be able to start this work through an Apprenticeship scheme.
In either case, you will be given full induction training and health and safety training when you start work and you’ll also learn storage and dispatch procedures and the correct way to input computer records and run reports.
What about further training?
Your employer will want to see you develop and become expert at your job and you will receive support if you want to undertake further training.
Anything else I might need to know?
Yes, while this is a physical job you’ll have plenty of chances to use your brainpower and get noticed for all the right reasons - aspects such as quality control and invoice checking can save your company a lot of cash and hassle!
It’s a good starting point for a career in the food manufacturing sector.