Despite a time of economic uncertainty, when many employers are cutting back on recruitment, filling vacant roles or even struggling to find suitable candidates, Interserve is making great strides with its graduate programme.
Now in its second year, the successful scheme, tailored to Interserve's private sector support services business, has already seen five graduates through the first of its two-year programme. The scheme is proving so successful that recruiting for the 2013 intake is well under way.
Developing opportunities for young people and enabling career progression is central to Interserve's social economic commitment. Graduates joining the programme benefit from working in a major company that has recently been announced as the first facilities management and support services employer to become a BIFM Recognised Centre, delivering the BIFM qualifications in facilities management through in-house programmes.
Interserve has also been instrumental in piloting and delivering a range of industry-first programmes across the business, including the Facilities Management NVQ Level 3 and the Cleaning, Hard Services and FM apprenticeships, and has been awarded a Grade 2 Ofsted rating (of a four-point grading system) for its provision of education services.
In addition to this, as part of its SustainAbilities programme, Interserve has made a strong commitment to apprenticeships by citing 500 new places will be made available group-wide over the next five years.
The facilities management environment enables each graduate to experience a wide variety of different business disciplines, which might not be so readily available in other industry sectors. Some of Interserve's current graduates highlight why they chose the company and how they've found the scheme:
• Felicity Sutton, a graduate at Interserve, said: “I wanted to join a graduate scheme to gain a structured training and development programme, as well as the experience of being exposed to all aspects of an organisation to gain an understanding of how a FTSE 250 business operates. This has been a fantastic opportunity to work at one of the world's leading support services and construction companies.”
• Harjinder Singh, a graduate at Interserve, said: “I wanted to join a graduate programme to gain experience of working across a wide range of services for a large organisation. I enjoy the variety of work, the challenges I have faced and the opportunity to work with well-respected clients.”
The programme is a two-year scheme and the graduates are provided with continual training and development opportunities to help progress their skills. Structured learning and development programmes are also in place to add leadership skills, improve self-awareness and provide knowledge of non-operational elements of the commercial business unit.
Throughout the two years the graduates will have the support of trained mentors to help them with the placement.
Scott Hill, HR director - commercial at Interserve, said: “The graduate programme has been in place for the past year and has proved so successful that our business has committed to a larger intake in 2013. With this scheme we're recruiting graduates that can grow and develop to eventually be future business leaders, providing strong leadership and management to help move the business forward. The structure of the programme is extremely robust and graduates benefit from a full two-year training plan with placements in different aspects of the business. Investment in people is a high priority for the company and Interserve feels it is important to be proactive towards addressing potential future skills shortages. We recognise that bringing on new talent and giving graduates an opportunity to be part of our growing business is key to our future success.”