SK vacancies


HUNDREDS of people applied for jobs following a major recruitment drive by award-winning Teesside company which makes chilled food for the UK’s biggest supermarkets.

On the back of one its most successful years in its history, SK Chilled Foods advertised for 32 new roles based at its South Bank and Riverside facilities in Middlesbrough.

Over 800 people applied for a variety of jobs, including Production Line Leaders, Engineers and Quality Auditors, and 21 people have now been appointed and started work for the company.

They include 27-year-old James Robson, from Eston, who has started as a Line Leader at South Bank.

This means he is responsible for overseeing one of the many food production lines at the facility.

James joined SK from another food company in North Yorkshire, but says he is already seeing a big difference.

He explained: “In my previous job I was literally thrown in at the deep end with very little induction or support, so it was quite daunting.

“Here, before anyone was appointed, we were invited to an open day so we could have a look around the facility so we knew exactly what sort of environment we would be working in.

“There was then a very thorough induction process and for the first few weeks we were all allocated an existing member of staff so they could shadow and help us settle in.

“I had heard good things about SK prior to applying and I am enjoying it and really happy to be here.”

In James’ case, being on one of the production lines can involve making 80,000 pieces of product, such as an onion bhaji, in just one shift. This includes ensuring that each bhaji is made to the exact specification required by a supermarket.

James added: “I know I have only been here a short time, but I already receiving further training which will enable me to progress within the company. My next sights are set on becoming a supervisor.”

James’ current supervisor, Tony Lynas, said: “I have been very impressed with James; his attitude and attention to detail is fantastic.”

Julie Knight, SK Chilled Foods’ Head of HR, said: “We were delighted with the response we received to the recruitment campaign and with the calibre of people who applied.

“The focus was then to ensure that we retained the people we recruited because in the manufacturing industry, if there is turnover, it tends to happen in the first six months of employment.

“So, that’s why we held the open day at the two facilities because we understand that food production is not for everybody, so by giving them an insight before they committed to anything at least they could make an informed decision.

“The new training programme we have introduced started with our existing employees and asking them what was missing from their induction and we used their feedback to introduce new things like the ‘buddy’ system.

“Everyone was also issued with all the equipment they need before they started, rather than just on their first day when they already have lots of things to digest.

“And we encouraged the new starters to pop up to see us for a tea or coffee if they had any questions or concerns.

“In the first weeks it’s all about settling in and building relationships, and we then carry out regular reviews and offer staff continuous training.

“It’s a model that works and one we will now be adopting for all new starters going forward.”

SK still has 11 vacancies to fill for Line Leaders roles.

More information is available  by emailing

Katie Beaumont
Marketing & Communications Executive of SK Foods. Your food. Our Passion.
Coeliac awareness week

Coeliac Awareness Week

It’s Coeliac Awareness Week and in our research for this blog, I was surprised to learn that up to a half a million people in the UK may be living with symptoms of undiagnosed coeliac disease.

Coeliac seems to be a relatively new phenomenon, although it’s obviously not, in fact it was first identified when a Greek physician in the first century AD referred the ‘coeliac affection’, coeliac deriving from the Greek word for abdomen.

It now affects 1 in 100 people in the UK, making it much more common than previously thought, so it’s always been around it’s just through medical advancements and greater awareness of the condition that we now understand it more clearly.

Thankfully, people with coeliac disease now also have a much greater choice when it comes to gluten-free food, so are less restricted than previous generations.

A bit like vegan food, the popularity of ‘free-from’ foods is at an all time high with many non-coeliacs also choosing to avoid gluten, in their case in the belief that it is healthier.

In 2018 there was a 27% rise in sales of free from foods, with the UK supermarkets now dedicating whole aisles to gluten-free products and brands such as Warburtons launching gluten-free wraps and Stella Artois a gluten-free beer.

Restaurants, including some with Michelin stars, have also cottoned on and there are generally now always gluten-free alternatives, which is great.

From a chefs’ point of view, having to substitute a few ingredients to remove gluten from the dish is no hardship, as I hope you agree with this week’s recipe:

Gluten free Jamaican Ginger cake, Blueberries, lime and crème fraiche

Jamaican Ginger cake

170g Gluten free self raising flour

75g Black treacle

95g Golden syrup

75g Soft brown sugar

75g Butter

20g Ground ginger

12g Ground cinnamon

5g Ground nutmeg

7.5 Xanthan gum

7g Bicarb of soda

2 medium eggs


Whisk eggs, sugar, golden syrup and treacle for 5 minutes on a kitchen mixer.

Melt butter and pour into sugar batter and whisk for another 5 minutes. Mix all dry’s ingredients together and mix into the butter sugar mix. Mix well then pour into a 20cm loaf tin. Bake at 160oc for 45 minutes, or until cooked through. Leave to cool.

Blueberries and lime compote

250g Blueberries

Juice and zest of 1 lime

50g Caster sugar

In a pan put the blueberries, lime and sugar and cook on a medium heat for about 5 minutes. Until the sugar is dissolved and the blueberries have started to just break down slightly. Leave to cool.

To serve

1 Tub of crème fraiche

Slightly toast the ginger cake until warm, on top spoon a generous amount of the crème fraiche and then spoon over the sticky blueberries compote. Enjoy.

Katie Beaumont
Marketing & Communications Executive of SK Foods. Your food. Our Passion.
SK People - Paul Dales

SK People – Paul Dales

When you have ‘High Risk’ in your job title, you know what you do has to be taken seriously.

And as a High Risk Supervisor working at our South Bank site, that’s exactly what Paul Dales does.

Paul’s role is to ensure that all the correct procedures are being followed in relation to food safety and hygiene. And when you consider how much food we produce and how many millions of people eat it across the UK, then, yes, high risk is definitely the correct name for his job.

Read more

Katie Beaumont
Marketing & Communications Executive of SK Foods. Your food. Our Passion.
Chris Collins

SK People – Chris Collins

If there’s anything you need to know about an onion bhaji, Chris Collins is your man.

That’s because as part of his role as a Team Leader on the production line at our South Bank site, he is responsible for ensuring the bhaji lines run smoothly.

When you consider we produce 200,000 bhajis a day, you will understand why his role is so important.
He’s become so knowledgeable that if you lined up all the bhajis we do for our supermarket customers, based on the look, taste and smell, he would be able to tell you exactly which bhaji is sold in which supermarket.

Read more

Katie Beaumont
Marketing & Communications Executive of SK Foods. Your food. Our Passion.