Q1. Wincanton is a great organisation, can you give us a very quick overview of the business?
Wincanton is the largest third-party logistics organisation in Britain. We have over 210,000 colleagues over 200 sites and transport everything from food like beans and Coke to water, fuel, bricks and mortar. We also support government bodies and UK infrastructure projects.
Q2. Tell me about your Early Careers Scheme?
We have a number of specialised programmes. One, "Cygnets" is run while you’re still at school, college or doing an apprenticeship. It gives young people the opportunity to work in an area they wouldn’t necessarily have thought of for a career in Logistics. Allowing people to explore the types of roles and hours that they wish.
Then we have our graduate programme, which isn’t just aimed at people who are young, we take people from a variety of different backgrounds, and you don’t need to have a logistics degree. Our graduates have three rotations while they are with us over their first two years and those rotations include operations, real front-line leadership roles, plus support functions such as finance, IT and the People Team. For example, we have graduates who have spent a six-month rotation leading a team of 40 people in a warehouse, so, it's a great opportunity.
Q3. Do you do anything specific to attract Gen Z?
Yes, we do different types of social media campaigns, things like TikTok, which is very new to a lot of us, and Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. Careers fairs are still fairly successful, lots of universities still have those and promote them so you get great opportunities to chat. We are also working to connect directly with schools and colleges to promote early careers in logistics. We also create opportunities that are attractive to Gen Z – we have found this generation considers work-life balance, ongoing development and sustainability to be real differentiators in the roles they consider. So all our opportunities take this into account.
We don’t like people to fit into a box
Q4. How do you build your people strategy ‘Enabling our people to be at their best’ when you support these Early Careers Programmes?
The first stage is when they’re young, just out of school, college or university and don't necessarily have employment experience. It’s important to give them the opportunity to continue to grow and learn about work fundamentals such as punctuality, responsibility and how to work collaboratively in a team. All of these things are really important. So, we try to build all of those elements into any of our programmes.
Q5. What would you say is your philosophy for #BeYourselfAtWork and Early Careers?
Everyone brings something that’s diverse and unique, giving people the opportunity to be themselves is really important. We don’t like people to fit into a box. We’re all about inclusivity and we want people to be the best versions of themselves when they come to work here.
Q6. What advice would you give to anyone reviewing their graduate scheme to make it the best they can be?
I think if you have an existing graduate scheme, you need to stay aligned with what’s happening in the marketplace. Have close connections with a number of universities, generally, the ones that are your best feeders, Understand how the academic world is changing and what demands are being placed on the universities in order to connect with them and make their careers programmes more meaningful.
The second thing that I would say is to listen to the feedback from previous year cohorts. Go and solicit a variety of viewpoints - understand their experiences from pre-boarding and induction - through to the support they receive in their first role and the ongoing development throughout their placement. Look at all of the checkpoints and gather information to make sure you are constantly improving your scheme.
Q7. When you think about you, in your career, knowing yourself now with your iAM, what advice would you give to your younger self to be really ‘Jo’?
Find the thing that you enjoy and do more of that. You enjoy it because you are being your natural self and therefore you'll really get more fun, enjoyment, achievement and value out of the work that you’re doing - all whilst delivering more to your employer and the team that is around you... Be yourself.