Explore: Food production

Site Operations Manager
Humber VHB

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Shane M

00:00:02 Hello. My name’s Shane M. I work for Humber VHB and my position in the company is the Site Operations Manager for Western Nursery. I basically pull the labour to resources together. I bring in all the materials, all the products, all the, all the peat, seeds basically to grow the plants we produce on this nursery. On a yearly basis we produce around 30 million potted herb plants on this site. We also produce 16 million punnets of cress a year. So, it’s quite a big operation supplying all the major supermarkets within the country.

00:00:42 When I was younger at school I didn’t really have a, an idea of really where I wanted to go with, with a career at school at all. Luckily for me, my father has always been, he did 30 years, over 30 years of in this horticulture industry. My father was one of the pepper supervisors in this very glasshouse, when we first built this glasshouse. So, he basically said to me, do you want a weekend job? And so, I started to work up here at weekends and from there I basically worked through the summer holidays and then I left school because I was still unsure of what I wanted to do I decided to come and work on the side.

00:01:18 ‘Cause obviously at times my father was my boss. I think in certain instances for some people it would make life difficult because they’d obviously think I was given favouritism over others but he didn’t really have favourites and he would treat me as an employee when I was at work. He would treat me obviously as his son out of work but at work I had to do the same as everyone else. So, I had to get down and get, you know, get mucky and do the job basically.

00:01:46 When I started here full time when I was 16 I sort of probably did around six months and I decided that I just didn’t want to just do the same thing day in and day out. I wanted to improve and progress. So, the first thing I did was go to the site manager at the time and said that I wanted to progress. I wanted training. I wanted to become a manager. And basically he took me seriously and he started me on NVQ’s in horticulture and then basically from there I’ve shown commitment and developed well and gone on different courses, management courses and took on different positions within the company.

00:02:28 Probably over the past few years I supposed I’ve matured more and I, I think that has also helped me progress further within the eyes of my Board of Directors ’cause they’ve obviously seen now that he’s not just a, a lad or boy, he’s a man who can do the job. So, I suppose maturity has played quite a big part in that. I think for me, my ambitions are still going up. I, I’m now, you know, the Site Operations Manager but I would like to maybe in a few year’s time, maybe see that go further to maybe being a part of the Board, a part of one of the Directors in the company.

00:03:07 I tend to get, I tend to sort of get what I want and then stay level for a little while and then decide, no, that’s enough now, want a bit more. And so, then I start to drive to try and take more things on, more areas on, more responsibility on. When I’m not at work my family are sort of my life so I suppose a key thing for me is if I can put my kids onto the right track in their own careers and lives to make sure they make the choices they want to make, but I think that would be a driver for me. And to make sure I spend the time with them.

00:03:41 I would hope that maybe one of them would, maybe my son would maybe like to go into this industry but, you know, that’s quite a long way away so things change and careers change and this industry will change by then as well. So, basically for them it’s got to be their choice really. My dad is obviously quite proud because I’ve reached a position he never got to. He, he reached a managing position within the company but he was never in charge of the sites. So, he’s quite proud that I’ve sort of stayed in this industry and worked my way up and sort of, you know, even got further than him. So, he’s quite proud of that. ENDS


Shane M is a Site Operations Manager growing herbs. “I bring in all the materials, all the products, all the peat, seeds basically to grow the plants we produce on this nursery.” He started at 16 with few qualifications and worked his way up. He hopes soon he will be on the board of directors.

More information about Managers and proprietors in agriculture and horticulture

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

65%  male 
35%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Managers and proprietors in this unit group plan, organise and co-ordinate the activities and resources of farming establishments cultivating arable crops, fruits, trees and shrubs, and/or raising cattle, sheep, pigs and poultry. Managers and proprietors in horticulture oversee the production of plants for wholesale and/or retail.
Whilst no formal academic qualifications are required by proprietors in this area, most farm and horticultural managers have a vocational agricultural qualification (such as a BTEC/SQA award) and prior practical farming experience. Many farm and horticultural management jobs require a degree or equivalent qualification in a relevant subject. A small number of large farm and farm consultancy companies run graduate management training schemes. NVQs/SVQs in Agriculture are available at Level 4.
  • Determines financial, staffing and other short and long-term needs;
  • Produces and maintains records of production, finance and breeding;
  • Decides or advises on the types of crops and/or produce to be grown or livestock raised;
  • Plans intensity and sequence of farm or horticultural operations and orders seed, fertiliser, equipment and other supplies;
  • Markets and arranges for the sale of crops, livestock and other farm or horticultural produce.
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Agriculture, etc 17998
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Food products 1431
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