Recycling and waste management company Viridor has more than quadrupled its graduate intake thanks to a new specialist scheme.
The British Glass member introduced its ‘Functional Specialist Programme’ to work alongside the existing 'Graduate Management Trainee Scheme' to match graduates to different areas of business growth.
This has led to Viridor employing nearly 30 graduates through the new scheme.
Jennie Godfrey, Group Head of Talent at Viridor’s parent company, Pennon, said: “Our sector needs to recruit a massive 40% more people than it currently employs by 2027 if it is to fill the expected skills gap.
“We have taken specialised roles, such as environmental health and safety, to develop future leaders in this space.”
Graduates are given the opportunity to visit Viridor sites across the UK as part of the scheme to increase their understanding of the business and its different, specialist facilities.
A number of graduates across the country have benefited from the scheme including Philippa Crabbe, who is a Graduate Environmental Health and Safety Manager.
She said: “I am enjoying getting involved and watching the Avonmouth Energy Recovery Facility development evolve through the different stages of construction.
“I have visited many facilities across the country and a highlight has been visiting the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) centre in Scotland.”
Sughra Akbar, a Graduate Management Trainee who also joined Viridor through the scheme, said: “The graduate scheme is proving to be a great learning experience. During my first rotation in sales and collections, I even shadowed the drivers and exploring the collection services first hand.
“I’m really enjoying my current rotation in procurement, leading on aspects of the sustainable procurement project, initially developed by a previous graduate who is now in a leadership role within the team.”
Asim Rahman, Engineering and Maintenance Graduate, said: “I am involved with the WorkSmart programme at the Rochester Plastics Recycling Facility, which is all about applying the principles of lean engineering to minimise waste and optimise plant performance while making the plant even safer where possible.”
“A big thank you to the engineering operations team for their time and support which has made settling in very easy.”
Group Recruitment Manager Kate Clemens added: “We are thrilled with the impact the graduates are already having on the business. Each graduate has a development and progression route mapped where they can make a real impact. The project has been so successful that we plan to extend it across the Pennon Group, which includes Viridor and South West Water.
“At our assessment days, interviewees had the opportunity to tour a waste management facility, such as our award-winning Ardley Energy Recovery Facility, to help them truly engage with what we do and who we are as a company.
“The process begins from the moment our graduates accept their programme offer, including using social media to keep in touch, provide information, including the involvement of our senior managers. This leads in to their two-week induction programme when they start in the business.
“We individually assign each graduate with a senior level mentor, starting in an active role and learning from our most experienced colleagues.
“Importantly, we want our graduates to be industry and STEM ambassadors themselves and are given the opportunity to engage with young people within our educational programme.”
Viridor hopes to capitalise on the success of the scheme by recruiting 30 more graduates in 2019.
The scheme is open from 1 April to 1 June.