Team Leader
Gibsons Food

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Phil J

00:00:02 My name is Phil J, I’m a team leader in preparation and I work for Gibson’s. I make sure all the ingredients for all the mixes are correct specifications. Every mix is a different mix for different companies. We use three types of eggs and every one could have a different mixture in them.

00:00:27 When I was 10 years old I wanted to be a joiner but I used to deliver meat for me father in his business and he persuaded me when I left school to work for him. I wanted to be a joiner because I enjoy doing things with me hands but DIY at home I’m absolutely useless. When I left school at 15 I didn’t have any qualifications. The school I went to was a bit hard, you had to defend yourself otherwise you would’ve got bullied if you weren’t careful.

00:01:10 I worked for me father and he retired and we took the business over. We had two shops and then supermarkets were starting to come into their own a bit then so we lost a lot of business and my brother left the business so I had to run two shops then. We closed one down and I struggled on earning and just I gave up in the end. I felt sorry for me father because he was still alive and he’d worked hard to build it up and I explained, he knew what the situation was so he was a bit upset, really. I applied to Asda on a Thursday, I still had the business and on the Saturday evening they rang me at home to say, “You start work on the Monday.” I go, “Oh, I’ve still got the business.” So, I just cleared the shop out what meat I had left on the Sunday and I shut it there and then and I worked up from a butcher to a meat and fish manager.

00:02:23 Basically what it was is that all the meat was pre-packed at another factory somewhere so we didn’t need meat managers or fish managers. They offered me a security job which I declined so I took redundancy and applied for Gibson’s as a team leader and I got it.

00:02:47 I lost my wife when my son was 10 years of age so I had to bring him up through his age, really, through teenage years by myself which was very difficult. It’s hard, you’ve got to just get on with life and look after your son, bring your son up as best as you can, you know, and still keep a full time job, you know, and you find out who your friends are and who can help you. You learn to survive and get on with life. Yeah, I think that would’ve been the biggest hurdle I’ve had to do.


Phil J is a Team Leader at Gibsons Foods. He was a butcher who took over his father’s business when he retired. He lost so much business when supermarkets opened that he gave up the business and went to work for ASDA.

More information about Food, drink and tobacco process operatives

average salary

The UK average salary is £28,758

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

70%  male 
30%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future Employment

Future employment?

? Food, drink and tobacco process operatives set, operate and attend machinery to bake, freeze, heat, crush, mix, blend and otherwise process foodstuffs, beverages and tobacco leaves.
There are no formal academic entry requirements, though some GCSEs/S grades can be an advantage. Off- and on-the-job training is available. NVQs/ SVQs in Food and Drink Manufacturing Operations are available at Levels 1, 2 and 3. NVQs/SVQs in Tobacco Processing are available at Level 2.
  • Sets, operates and attends machinery and ovens to mix, bake and otherwise prepare bread and flour confectionery products;
  • Operates machinery to crush, mix, malt, cook and ferment grains and fruits to produce beer, wines, malt liquors, vinegar, yeast and related products;
  • Attends equipment to make jam, toffee, cheese, processed cheese, margarine, syrup, ice, pasta, ice-cream, sausages, chocolate, maize starch, edible fats and dextrin;
  • Operates equipment to cool, heat, dry, roast, blanch, pasteurise, smoke, sterilise, freeze, evaporate and concentrate foodstuffs and liquids used in food processing;
  • Mixes, pulps, grinds, blends and separates foodstuffs and liquids with churning, pressing, sieving, grinding and filtering equipment;
  • Processes tobacco leaves by hand or machine to make cigarettes, cigars, pipe and other tobacco products.
Employment by region
Top 10 industries for this job
Food products 69964
Wholesale trade 17648
Food & beverage services 16111
Retail trade 12698
Employment activities 2788
Beverages & tobacco 2508
Agriculture, etc 1336
Employment status
Skill importance

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