William Jackson Food Group teams up with Hull University Business School for ninth year running

GradJobs News
01 February 2016 | GradJobs News | Guest Author

Colleagues from prominent British food business William Jackson Food Group (WJFG) have started a unique two-week training programme with Hull University Business School to develop their skill-set and broaden their knowledge of the six-generation family business.

The intensive course, which is running for its ninth year, is for colleagues who work within the food group’s subsidiary businesses – Aunt Bessie’s, Abel & Cole, Jackson’s Bakery and MyFresh. It offers them a chance to step away from their day job and consider all elements of a successful business, its values and their own personal career development plans and opportunities.

Dickie Donovan, HR Director at WJFG said:

“The course allows colleagues to learn about different areas of the business including HR, finance, marketing and logistics. They have time with WJFG’s Chairman, our CEO, senior directors from across the business, academic speakers from the university and third sector partners with which WJFG works. The balance between theory-based learning and a hands-on approach really enhances colleague engagement and broadens their knowledge.”

Dickie added:

“We feel the course is key to the development of people at all levels and encourages them to expand their knowledge of our business and the wider world of business.
“Delegates really enjoy the opportunity to talk with our Chairman who shares the history of the family business and tells them about our values and governance, and our CEO who shares his own career path, strategy, how our values help us in business and how corporate parenting plays its part in the business.”

As well as academic lectures, individuals also take part in sessions focused on business strategy, the dynamics of the food industry and team building. In the second week of the course, participants put into practice the skills and knowledge gained and deliver presentations about business strategy to Board members.

Jeremy Wilcock, Business Engagement Manager at Hull University Business School, said:

“It is always a pleasure for the Business School to run the annual Management Development Programme for the William Jackson Food Group, which is one of our longest-established corporate partners. We enjoy having the delegates here and our lecturers relish the opportunity to work with them. Invariably they are an energetic and thoroughly engaged group, who genuinely seem to appreciate the course. The company has a great family ethic, which shows in preparedness to invest in a fortnight’s training away from the office. With the type of person who we meet on these courses, we know the business will be in very good hands in the future.”

WJFG is committed to the development of colleagues and strives to retain the values that come from family ownership over five generations. As well as this course, the business offers colleagues a host of opportunities to further their careers, including in-house training, external courses and for some individuals, the chance to study at Harvard Business School in the US.

William Jackson Food Group (WJFG) is a leading British food business, with a portfolio of food businesses in different, but complementary market areas. A sixth generation family owned business, WJFG is the owner of well-known food brands; Aunt Bessie’s, MyFresh, Abel & Cole, and Jackson’s Bakery. Although a ‘well-kept secret’ in the British food sector, WJFG has a proud heritage going back to 1851 when Yorkshireman and farmer’s son, William Jackson, founded the business.

To this day, family values and people remain at the heart of all it achieves. For more information on William Jackson Food Group, please visit

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