Developing untapped talent on the shop floor, Arla Foods, the UK’s leading dairy company, has launched a bespoke warehouse management development programme.
Aiming to progress warehouse operatives already working on site, the programme will nurture talent already in the business, and is being trialed at Arla’s National Distribution Centre in Stourton, Leeds.
Going through a rigorous selection process, candidates have to pass a four-round assessment in order to make it through to the 18-month programme.
“Like most companies, we have previously always recruited externally when looking for warehouse managers as there is a skills gap between operatives and managers,” said Louise Robinson, Arla’s HR officer at Stourton NDC.
“Arla is committed to a culture of continuous learning and development and empowering colleagues to progress their careers.
“We knew that there were colleagues working in the warehouse that would be able to thrive given the right conditions, and the success of the programme has proven that,” added Louise.
Recognising colleagues who wish to progress, are committed and want to demonstrate their skills and capabilities, the programme is also proving motivational to colleagues on site, who are now able to see a clear career progression path.
Phil Halliwell, warehouse operative at Stourton NDC, who is currently on the programme, recently carried out his first ever interview to recruit warehouse operatives, which he carried out alongside a manager.
"Being part of the Arla’s management programme has given me new skills, confidence and the opportunity to be able to take on greater responsibilities," said Phil.
Also on the programme are Tony Dales, Bob Morley and Steve O'Brien, all from Leeds.
Consisting of 23 units, the programme teaches a variety of skills in areas such as performance management, operational understanding, leadership skills, finance and health and safety.
Arla Foods UK plc is home to some of the UK’s leading dairy brands including Cravendale, Lurpak and Anchor. Processing approximately two billion litres of milk a year Arla continues to be one of the UK’s leading dairy companies and a supplier of fresh liquid milk and cream to the top seven retailers.
Over 2,500 daily deliveries are made directly to stores nationwide and Arla brands can be found across the dairy category. As well as the leader of the butter, spreads and margarine sector, and a major supplier of other added value products including flavoured milk and cheese, Arla continues to build working relationships with Arla Foods Milk Partnership, a unique group of dairy farmers, which supplies around 90 per cent of Arla's total milk requirements.
Behind this leading business is a team of circa 2,800 people across the UK located at our dairies, distribution centres and head office.