Underlining its commitment to talent development in the food and farming sector, Vion Food UK's Graduate Management Development Programme, Emerge, has increased its intake of graduates in 2011. This is the second cohort of the programme that was first launched in 2009.
From hundreds of applications, 11 graduates were offered the chance to enter the programme and embark on careers in the industry. The successful candidates were selected after taking part in a rigorous recruitment process, which culminated with an intensive assessment centre that included interviews, group exercises, presentations, and personality profiling.
As part of Vion’s focus on nurturing talent, applications were open to both internal and external graduates, and the company was delighted that one of its internal applicants was successful in being offered a place on the programme.
The 18-month Management Development Programme includes an in-depth induction, exposing the graduates to a number of different departments across the business. Having gained an overview of Vion’s operations, they then enter the function for which they have been recruited, which include positions in Agriculture, Sales & Marketing, Operations, and HR.
A key feature of Emerge is that it offers an internal mentoring scheme which operates in conjunction with an external coaching programme. This programme has been developed in close cooperation with external consultancy, Interest in People, who also helped to carry out the recruitment process, and are working with Vion’s HR team to manage the programme during its first six months.
Each graduate has been appointed a Vion mentor, at director or senior manager level, who will provide support, and offer their advice and guidance. Throughout the programme, they will also be continually assessed on a combination of technical and management skills, as well as their overall progression. Finally, the graduates will benefit from 1-2-1 coaching sessions that are tailored to their individual development requirements, and take part in group coaching sessions, which are all facilitated by the external provider and away from their usual locations.
Mark Thomas, Head of Group HR at VION UK said; “As a leader in the UK food industry, Vion takes its responsibility of developing and growing our management talent of the future very seriously. We have recruited a set of graduates with high potential, and are delighted to be offering them the chance of a fantastic career within the food and farming sector.
“Earlier this year we made three managerial appointments into the business as a result of the successful completion of first Emerge and as a result are progressing really well.”
Emerge Graduate, Gordon Wiper, who is now Assistant Planning Manager at Vion Sandycroft said; “It was a really in-depth process, but I learnt so much. I undertook placements at three different Vion sites, and gained valuable experience through working first-hand in different areas of the business. I am pleased to have graduated from Emerge, and hugely proud to have been appointed into a management position.”