HARBRO, the Scottish-based livestock feed supplier, has opened its graduate development scheme to applications. The scheme aims to expose recruits to the whole business, support their development, and place them in permanent positions that suit their talents and preferences.

The Harbro Graduate Development Scheme (HGDS) compromises two years of training with three to six-month placements across different teams in the business. These are spread across their Scottish sites near Glasgow, Lanarkshire, and Aberdeenshire. Candidates outside these areas are still encouraged to apply if they can relocate.

Harbro aims to tailor the HGDS to the individual. Each placement consists of two parts. There will be a role to carry out in the team, and they also have the opportunity to conduct improvement projects, which exposes them to key people across Harbro.

Every trainee is put through the Lean Six Sigma green belt course, which is the first step to becoming a qualified CI practitioner. Additional courses are available to support each person towards their specific goals.

“We began the HGDS because we wanted to bring talented young people into our business,” says Laura Anderson, head of continuous improvement and strategy at Harbro. “By providing placements across various departments, they get knowledge of all the different functions in Harbro. This has helped the trainees to find the most suitable role for them and has increased communication between our teams.

“The people that have been on the scheme are incredible. They have been exceptional at their day job and delivering the projects we set them. The two most recent trainees left the HGDS a year early to go into permanent positions because they had already met our expectations to be able to make the move.”

Many graduates need help knowing what they want to do when they leave full-time education. The broad scope of the HGDS has enabled them to find what excites them the most, believes Laura.

Someone who was able to discover what role they are most passionate about through the HGDS is Anna McRae. She joined the graduate scheme in 2021 and has just begun her permanent position in Harbro as a transport planner and continuous improvement lead.

“I studied a business management degree, specialising in human resources,” says Anna. “After I graduated, I was looking for a role that would give me opportunities in various areas. I was aware of Harbro, having grown up on a farm that used their products, and I have a couple of relatives who work for them.”

Anna started with a placement in customer services and, from there, went to the trading department, which is where she had her first taste of transport planning. She followed her interests, moving to the transport department as her last HGDS placement, and has stayed there with a permanent position.

“As well as learning our placement job, we were asked to do continuous improvement projects. These can be big projects or little day-to-day things; we were encouraged to use our outside knowledge to help Harbro think of different solutions.

“Working in different departments gave us a broad understanding of the whole business and how some teams do certain things. It has also helped widen the communication and understanding between teams.

“Looking ahead to the future, I would like to progress my career in Harbro, ideally into management as a next step. The HGDS is a wonderful opportunity for the right person,” concludes Anna.

For more information about the Harbro Graduate Development Scheme, visit www.harbro.co.uk/careers