graduate scheme

Graduate Trainee Manager

Job description

The Fresh Produce and Food industry is the largest manufacturing sector in the country and MDS nurtures talented graduates to become future leaders in this innovative, diverse, and sustainable industry.

MDS offers a unique challenge beyond other graduate schemes. The two-year programme is a rotation of four roles in a variety of businesses and MDS will match trainees to placements to give each person the broadest possible opportunity and experience. This allows trainees to proactively explore their strengths, motivation, and ideal fit without making a long-term commitment to one role or business.

MDS not only offers roles with real responsibility, but a Level 5 qualification accredited by the Chartered Management Institute in Leadership and Management. The value of a trainee is emphasised by the support given throughout their development. A trainee has access to an experienced mentor to support all different aspects of the programme and to help trainees reach their full potential.

Roles are varied and cover all aspects of the food and fresh produce supply chain, below are some examples of secondments:

Commercial – A client/customer facing role, that requires multitasking and a high level of coordination. Developing effective business networks with internal and external stakeholders. Supporting the commercial performance, adhering to processes, handling of data with analysis. Previous secondment roles: Corporate Produce Assistant, Junior Commercial Manager, E-Commerce Growth Executive.

Operations – Plan, coordinate and improve processes across a variety of business functions. High level of technical input, data gathering and reporting that drives growth with strategy support. Previous secondment roles: Operations Supervisor, Site Trainer, Operational Excellence Support.

Procurement – Directly involved in the sourcing and purchasing of products and services. Sourcing suppliers, contract drafting, negotiation and managing suppliers through the whole procurement process. Previous secondment roles: Assistant Procurement Manager, Corporate Produce Assistant.

Project / research / trials – Initiate projects, carry out planning by setting goals and objectives. Track work to be completed, set deadlines and delegate tasks. Implement any necessary changes throughout the process. Recording of data and analysis. Previous secondment roles: Junior Project Manager, Change Champion, Development Technologist.

Farm – Organising and participating in the daily harvesting and analysis. Implement the monitoring of the UK agronomy/field practices, trials and data collection, plan for existing crops and new varieties. Previous secondment roles: Deputy Harvest Manger, Planting Manager, Harvest Planner.

Marketing – Coordination and contribution towards a marketing strategy/campaign. Marketing a product or service. Using a variety of communication platforms internal and external to the business. Previous secondment roles: Digital Marketing, Marketing Officer, Communications Specialist.

Technical – Ensure quality of the product is the correct specification and quality for clients. Following strict food safety requirements and protocol. Monitor staff operations. Previous secondment roles: Quality Control, Fruit Technologist, Quality and Assurance Account Manager.

What we are looking for

  • Demonstrate strong leadership potential
  • Highly motivated and hard working
  • Identify and resolve problems
  • Adaptable
  • Organised and able to prioritise
  • Recognise the need for their own development

MDS is a training and development programme which is inclusive of all degree disciplines and experience.

  • Achieved (or predicted) at least a 2:1 degree in any subject, although in exceptional circumstances we will consider candidates with a 2:2
  • Full driving licence and use of a car by the time you start MDS
  • Eligible to work in the UK permanently
  • Prepared and able to relocate every six months

Accepted degree subjects


Additional job details

Number of vacancies
UK wide

- £22, 000 for Trainees in the 1st year and £23,000 for Trainees in the 2nd year - Relocation allowance- 28 days holiday- Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)- Interest free starter loan

Contract, dates and working times
Fixed term


How to apply

There are two intakes a year starting in the Spring and Autumn. You can apply at any time, and we interview for positions throughout the year.

We are currently accepting applications for our October 2022 and April 2023 start dates.

Click Apply to start your application now. This job will be available on Prospects until 30 September 2022

Don't forget to mention Prospects to employers when you contact them.

Closing date:  30 September 2022

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