Graduates are a ‘class’ act for Branston

Posted: 08 October 2012
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Two new graduates have been enrolled onto Branston's Graduate Development Programme.

Jenny Bridge, 21, and 22-year-old Will Pocklington began their first placements at the company’s Lincoln site this month.

Jenny, a business studies graduate from the University of Lincoln and Will, who studied countryside and environmental management at Harper Adams University College, will now embark on a training programme which will see them work in diverse areas of the business – from agronomy to production to commercial.

Jenny, from Waddington, said: “As well as learning practical skills, we will gain vital experience. So far I have been learning all about production in the fresh potato factory, and I’m looking forward to using this knowledge throughout my placements.”

Will, from Louth, said: “As well as working in different departments at Branston, we’ll be doing one placement at the company’s other sites in Scotland and Somerset which will be really interesting to see.

“I’m really looking forward to getting stuck in, especially the agronomy placement at the Scotland site because that’s an area I’m particularly interested in.”

Both graduates have started their programmes in a production environment to gain a foundation knowledge of the business before they start placements in their areas of interest. Jenny is working in areas including IT, commercial and finance, and Will is getting involved in agronomy, development and new product development.

Alongside their practical placements, both graduates will be studying for a post-graduate qualification which focuses on developing key skills such as leadership, planning and problem solving. As part of the course, they will attend residentials with other food industry graduates.

Both Jenny and Will are delighted to get a graduate placement scheme with Branston – especially as many other young people are struggling to find work after graduating from university.

“It is a really difficult time for people leaving university,” said Will. “I am grateful for this opportunity from Branston to develop my career – and hopefully gain a full-time job at the end of the placement.”

Annabel Sill is one of Branston’s current graduate trainees. The 23-year-old, who studied environmental geography, says the last 12 months with Branston have been a great experience, doing placements in operations, new product development, procurement and agronomy.

“The great thing about a training scheme with a company like Branston is that you try all different parts of the business,” says Annabel. “My agronomy placement was at the South West site, where I spent three months working with a new team in a new environment.

“Food was an area which really interested me which is why I was attracted to Branston. There are a range of things you can get involved in in the food industry, but people don’t necessarily know about the opportunities available.”

Simon Telfer, HR and logistics director at Branston, said: “We believe it’s really important to nurture young potential. We provide a thorough grounding for our graduate trainees and give them in-depth experience of as many areas of the business as possible before they choose their career path – and we’ve gained some really talented people through the scheme.”