graduate scheme

Leadership and Management Scheme - Career Changers'

Job description

Our Leadership and Management scheme was developed to equip people for a fruitful career in the fast-paced food industry. Hardworking, highly motivated individuals will relish the challenge of these 18-24 month programmes. Successful candidates become MDS associates, working towards a formal Level 3 Supply Chain Leader or Level 5 leadership and management qualification accredited by the Chartered Management Institute. This modular training prepares you for future leadership positions and is supported by mentoring to help you reach your potential.

Each MDS associate also undertakes a series of placements in Member businesses, in roles that give real responsibility from the start. MDS Members represent all aspects of the food, fresh produce, horticulture and agriculture supply chain, from growers to supermarkets. Your placements will each last for 6-12 and will cover a range of different functions, from marketing to operations, HR to business planning. You may be asked to complete a specific project for one business, whilst for another, you may find yourself running a packing plant.

As our Members are based around the UK (and some overseas), you are highly likely to be asked to relocate for each placement.

At the end of each programme, our Members are invited to make offers of permanent roles to our associates, which usually results in every individual securing employment. MDS alumni now number over 500 and hold senior positions in many leading businesses. We keep in touch with our alumni through regular updates and networking opportunities.

This is a fast-paced industry in which salaries are rising quickly. Trainees are employed by MDS at £24,000 per annum, rising to £25,000 after the first year. If you are hard-working and motivated, then a career in food industry operations could be very rewarding.


  • Relocation allowance - up to £1,000 per year
  • Chartered Management Institute approved qualification
  • Dedicated mentoring
  • 28 days holiday
  • Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)
  • Interest free starter loan
  • Regularly review the cost of living and amend salaries accordingly
  • Accredited by ‘Great Place To Work’

What we are looking for

To be considered for MDS, you will need to demonstrate that you have relevant experience and transferrable skills. These skills do not have to be gained in an academic institution, they can be through work or other activities you have undertaken. The important thing is that we can see your potential.

To apply, you must be prepared and able to relocate every six months. Each application is reviewed independently, and the offer of employment will be subject to appropriate right-to-work checks. A range of our Member companies are based in rural locations some Trainees may be required to travel, it is the Trainee’s responsibility to ensure they have the appropriate means to travel for work.

Accepted degree subjects


Additional job details

UK wide

Contract, dates and working times
Fixed term


How to apply

Click Apply to start your application now. This job will be available on Prospects until 31 October 2024

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

Closing date:  Continuous recruitment

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