Questions and answers about working in Scotland’s food and drink industry

16 May 2021

Answers to some of the common questions about what working in the Scottish food and drink industry is really like.

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Will I have to work 9-5?

If you do want a 9-5 job, you can find plenty of them in food and drink.

But we also have shift jobs, part-time jobs, flexible jobs and seasonal work, if you’d prefer that.

It’s one of the great things about this sector – there are so many different ways to work.

Can I work abroad?

We sell Scottish food and drink all over the world – to over 105 countries. This definitely opens up possibilities to travel or work abroad.

Also, food and drink is a global industry. If you get yourself some good training and qualifications, you may well get some appetising job opportunities abroad.

Are all food and drink jobs in factories or on farms?

No, not at all.

There are diverse and rewarding jobs across the food chain, in labs, offices, retail, breweries, distilleries, research, education, consultancy, working outside or on the road.

You can make food or market it, invent new products, grow and help get the right produce to the right place at the right time, keep machinery working, negotiate deals, and much else besides.

There are jobs by the sea, in the countryside or in city centres. In research or in IT. And yes, in factories and farms too.

That’s the beauty of food and drink – there’s a feast of different jobs.

What qualifications do I need?

We’re really flexible about this. That’s because there are so many different jobs and careers here.

You can come in straight from school with your national qualifications and we’ll help you train. There are different apprenticeships you can do, so you can earn while you learn, and plenty of chances to work your way up.

We also have graduate careers, research careers,and openings for people who’ve worked in other sectors. The training opportunities mean thesepeople too can always go further.

Everyone’s talking about careers in data, robotics, internet of things. So why should I look at food and drink?

In fact, food and drink is a massive user of data, robotics, internet of things, block chain and soon. And there’s going to be more and more of itacross the industry, not just in factories but on farms and other parts of the industry too.

So, if you’re interested in data, AI, robotics and other new technology areas, this is a sector just fizzing with opportunities. The other thing about food and drink is that people are always going to want it. Consumer demands are driving new trends and these are offering many new opportunities for innovation. If you want a career where you can feel good about your future, this sector definitely offers that.

Does it pay well?

It certainly can do. There are lots of different jobs across the sector, and plenty of chances to train, progress up the ladder and go further. Many people start their own businesses too, and do very well out of it.