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‘We are feeding the nation’: Bernard Matthews looking for 200 temporary staff

PUBLISHED: 17:28 21 March 2020 | UPDATED: 17:28 21 March 2020

Andrew Sherwood, HR director (inset) at Bernard Matthews on the 200 jobs they are hiring for. Picture: AndrewSherwood/Archant

Andrew Sherwood, HR director (inset) at Bernard Matthews on the 200 jobs they are hiring for. Picture: AndrewSherwood/Archant

AndrewSherwood/Archant

Bernard Matthews has announced it is hiring 200 temporary workers after demand for its products rose 35% since the outbreak of the coronavirus.

The poultry producer is hiring temporary staff – predominantly in factory work - at its sites in Great Witchingham in Norfolk and Holton in Suffolk, and will extend contracts on a week-by-week basis as needed.

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HR director Andrew Sherwood said: “You don’t need any prior experience in factory work to apply. We know that there are a lot of people in the hospitality sector who may be looking for a job, and this could provide a stop-gap for them.

“This may not be the work you want to do for a career, but it is preferable for some to have an income than none.”

Mr Sherwood said that Bernard Matthews had seen “by far the vast majority” of staff reporting healthy for work, and had an occupational health team in place to assist individuals with any questions or worries.

He said: “We saw demand for our products increase for two reasons. One, because people were stockpiling – particularly chicken, and secondly because now people can eat out less they need to buy more food to cook at home.”

The contracts being offered are on average of four weeks but up to six or eight dependent on the candidate.

Mr Sherwood said: “There will also be the opportunity for overtime work. Currently a lot of our staff are working overtime and I am so proud of the immense effort they are putting in. But we can’t rely on overtime forever - we need to up our head count to keep feeding the nation.”

Mr Sherwood said he had been pleased by the diversity of the candidates already applying.

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“We’ve seen students who have come home from university, graduates, people who were working in other jobs and are looking to pick up some extra hours, all sorts.

“These are initially temporary contracts but there will definitely be opportunities for people who work hard and enjoy it to make those permanent, and for further development,” he said.

Applicants can apply via:

- The Bernard Matthews website

- Emailing recruitment@bernardmatthews.com

- Or by calling 07787662817

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