William Jackson Food Group and the University of Hull

William Jackson Food Group and the University of Hull

Image Credit: William Jackson Food Group

The Company

William Jackson Food Group is a long established family business with real heritage in the region. The group comprises several different and autonomous businesses, including Aunt Bessie’s, Jackson’s Bakery, Parripak and Hazeldene. The group invests heavily in its people, holding training and development programmes at all levels, and is a well-known and respected employer. William Jackson Food Group is very community-oriented and participates in many sustainability and community activities.

"We have drawn tremendous benefit from our ability to work with the Hull University Business School team in developing bespoke programmes to meet our particular needs."

To create and deliver a two week residential development programme encompassing sustainability, finance, marketing, logistics, HR and particularly strategy and the sources of competitive advantage, as well as less traditionally ‘academic’ skills such as presentation skills and leadership. The delegates come from across the whole group and have all been identified as those who have the potential to develop their careers within William Jackson Food Group.

About the programme

Six cohorts of William Jackson employees have come through the programme at the business school. As well as delivery from business school academics, outside agencies and senior management from William Jackson, this year’s guest speakers included representatives from corporate partners The Goodwin Trust and Clipper Logistics. The whole programme was delivered at the business school, taking the delegates out of their regular working environment.

During the first week, the delegates concentrated on learning about themselves, by using tools such as Insights, and their role within the business. There were also more traditionally academic sessions, focusing on finance and logistics, as well as learning about the organisation’s place in the community. In the second week, sessions focused on business strategy, marketing and the dynamics of the food industry. Sessions were delivered by business school staff, selected consultants and the William Jackson team.

The fortnight finished with three teams of delegates delivering a presentation to board members based on a Harvard case study in business strategy. This allowed delegates to put into practice the skills and knowledge gained during the previous two weeks. Board members concluded the fortnight by giving feedback on the presentations.

Feedback from the programme has been excellent year on year. Delegates listed many highlights, and comments included:

"Excellent course - good balance between theory and industrial application"

"It's been a real privilege to be involved in this programme – it’s amazing the effort that HUBS puts in"

"A great environment with a relaxed friendly approach has made it an enjoyable experience"

HR Director Allan Wheelwright commented:

"We have drawn tremendous benefit from our ability to work with the Hull University Business School team in developing bespoke programmes to meet our particular needs."

"The consistently positive feedback from delegates attending these programmes is testament to the quality of the school’s resources and teaching."


This programme tailors with the group’s commitment to developing talent at all levels and promoting individuals from within the group who show dedication and commitment to the business.

A number of delegates from the programme have gone on to occupy bigger and more challenging roles within the group, and the significant contribution to the group’s prospects that delegates are making was recently recognised by an alumni event which brought them all together to participate in project work and to reinforce the internal links across the businesses that make up the group.

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Related pages:

University of Hull
Food Economy Task Force
William Jackson Food Group (external link)

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