Investing in People with a New Generation of Trainees

Throughout our 75-year history, Herbert Walkers has always been an agile and forward-focused company, evolving our printing specialisms and commercial interests alongside emerging trends and advances in technology.

Having the right mix of experience and new talent on our team has always played a critical role in maintaining high quality standards while preparing for the future. It’s a principle that still drives our people strategy today, with five trainees currently on our team and the recruitment process in progress for a sixth.

Nurturing People In-house

“Investing in people is just as important as investing in new machinery,” explains managing director, Mike Lammas. “Not only do we require the right skills on the team, we also need people that embrace our culture of customer service and quality assurance and the best way to achieve that combination of knowledge, can-do attitude and attention to detail is to train and nurture people in house.”

Amongst the trainees currently on the Herbert Walkers team are Daniel in our in-house die-making department, Kieran in our cut and crease department, Martin in our greetings card finishing department, Ross in our folding and gluing department and Matthew in account management. We are also currently looking for a new trainee print assistant. All five of our trainees joined us following a rigorous interview process and, after an initial induction, they have been assigned a mentor and a training plan to ensure they gain the skills, knowledge and experience they need to progress in their careers.

“Nurturing our own skills and knowledge leverages the experience already within the business to ensure our investment in people becomes a continuous legacy,” Mike continues. “Our trainees are learning from people who know the job, the company and the customers inside out and all their colleagues encourage and support them to succeed.

“Training people in this way allows us to create opportunity for local people and to put succession planning at the heart of our skills strategy, ensuring knowledge is cumulative within the business, not lost when individuals retire.”

Attitude & Ability

The current cohort of trainees at Herbert Walkers are mostly in their early 20s but Martin is an exception, having joined the company as a trainee in his mid-30s.

“We’re not looking for a particular profile when we recruit trainees,” says Mike, “We’re looking for versatile individuals who want to learn, have a good attitude and are enthusiastic about the role.

“There is always the potential to progress within the company or move into a different department for members of the team who have the talent and ambition, but the main qualification is bringing to work a consistent commitment to doing a great job every day.”

Matthew Cross has never looked back since joining the Herbert Walkers team: “I’ve learned so much since I’ve been here,” he says, “and if I’m ever unsure about something, I know I can ask – in fact asking questions is actively encouraged.

“I really enjoy working for a company where I know my contribution is valued. It’s also great that I’m not the only trainee but part of a next generation of skilled employees who will continue to build on the company’s achievements.”

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