Vion doubles intake to graduate programme

Vion Food UK has doubled the intake of graduates to its management development programme in 2011. The company says that its 18-month Emerge programme stands out because it offers an internal mentoring scheme in conjunction with an external coaching programme.

It represents a significant investment for the Vion, which developed the scheme with an external consultancy, Interest in People. The consultants were involved in the recruitment process and will continue work with Vion's HR team during the first six months of the programme.

Eleven graduates have been selected for the programme from 350 internal and external applicants, who underwent a selection process including interviews, group exercises, presentations and personality profiling.

During the programme, the graduates will have the opportunity to experience a number of different departments in across the business before entering the function for which they have been recruited, which includes positions in agriculture, sales and marketing, operations and HR.

Each graduate has been appointed a Vion mentor, at director or senior manager level, who will provide support and offer advice and guidance. They will also have one-to-one coaching sessions tailored to their individual development requirements, and group coaching sessions away from their usual locations.

This is the second year the 18 month scheme has run, with 3 graduates from the 2009 programme successfully recruited into management across the business earlier this year.

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 programme. The graduates appointed were immersed into the business, and given the appropriate knowledge and skills through a structured development programme, and as a result are progressing really well.”
Previous Emerge graduate, Gordon Wiper, who is now assistant planning manager at Vion Sandycroft added: “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.”

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