UK – 2 Sisters Food Group, a privately owned food manufacturing company, has invested at its Willand factory and is expanding operations in order to give it a ‘greater ability to process, cut and pack products for its retail customers’.

According to the company, the business also aims to take up to 20 new apprentices in butchery.

The new recruits would split their roles between Devon and a 2 Sisters Red Meat site in the South-West, so they can ‘hone their skills and ensure the training modules would meet National Apprenticeship standards’.

The new staff upsurge comes in response to an increase in cutting and packing capacity, including new equipment.

This boosts the current headcount to more than 1,200 since January with 160 new colleagues taken on, and the 300 additional new roles will take the factory numbers up to 1,500.

“We have always said we will invest at the right time in the right location when it benefits our business and our customers.

So I am delighted that we are creating these new opportunities at Willand.

It is not about being bigger; it is actually about having a smaller more focused footprint that has the capacity to carry out the whole operation,” said Keith Packer, managing director of UK Poultry at 2 Sisters.

“Willand and the greater Devon area is a perfect fit for us because it gives us access to a strong growing base with excellent farms and a loyal workforce who deliver day in day out.”

The large majority of the new roles include production operatives along with a smaller number in finance, animal welfare, engineering and quality assurance.

140 of the roles will be converted from agency positions to permanent 2 Sisters employees, while recruitment manager Chris Adamson will hire the rest from the local area.

“As you’d expect, we are working closely with local job centres and we’re heavily on social media, but we also need to be creative in our talent pipeline searches,” added Adamson.

“There are tremendous opportunities at a large employer like 2 Sisters and those with the right attitude and skill sets can build a great career here, as we’ve seen many times in the past.”