As Grundon Waste Management approaches its 95th year of trading, the company is on a mission to become an employer of choice – and our apprenticeship offering is helping them achieve this.
Long service isn’t uncommon at Grundon, a family-owned business where lots of employees have been with them for 20-30 years. The presence of long service combined with sustained business growth has meant Grundon now holds a workforce of around 800 employees across five generational groups.
We spoke to Grundon's Mark Gaden, Learning and Development Manager and Addisen Harmby, Learning and Development Coordinator, who’ve been central to the apprenticeship implementation, about their experience with the Grant Thornton and Activate Business School apprenticeships.
Grundon approached us in early 2022 with the intention of using their apprenticeship levy fund more effectively. They were particularly keen to explore apprenticeships which would complement and boost the impact of their existing extensive training and development opportunities. They were also looking for the best return on investment for the business.
In November 2022, Grundon launched its first cohort on our leadership and management qualification – team leader/supervisor apprenticeship. Co-designed and co-delivered with Activate Business School, this programme is aimed at first-time managers and supervisors.
In just four months, Mark and Addisen described the learners as having a shift in confidence, a willingness and desire to learn, and their productivity is second to none. There have also been cases of improved work-based competencies, such as IT literacy and financial understanding.
The key to Grundon’s implementation success hasn’t only been identifying the right opportunity for apprenticeships in the business, it’s been the internal buy-in from the board of directors, the senior leadership team, and line managers. Initially there were some myths and misconceptions surrounding apprenticeships in the business but these are fast disappearing.
Mark and Addisen have already had numerous requests for additional apprenticeships elsewhere in the business and have already made steps to expand their portfolio, notably in data analytics and coaching.
Grundon chose our apprenticeship offering for three key reasons:
Apprenticeships offered a new journey for Grundon – having their own dedicated account management meant they knew they would be well supported throughout the process.
Our team leader apprenticeship is flexible with options to gain an additional qualification from the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) or to complete the apprenticeship standard only. It means that learners can choose their own pathway.
We've been working with organisations ever since the introduction of the apprenticeship levy and with Activate Business School prior to that. Our co-designed and co-delivered apprenticeships have supported over 1,200 learners, across nearly 100 organisations, on level 3 and level 5 leadership and management apprenticeship standards.
Our leadership and management apprenticeships support first time managers all the way through to C-suite executives.