Christine has been Chair of MDS Ltd since 2016. It is a graduate recruitment and training scheme for the food and fresh produce industry, a not for profit business that started 34 years ago. The scheme has expanded and now has 60 trainees with degrees from food business management to archaeology and languages, with 15 recruited every 6 months. Trainees complete four 6-month secondments within the 65 member businesses, doing real jobs such as covering seasonal peaks, maternity cover, projects or in some cases permanent roles continuously filled by rotating MDS trainees: trainees are off head-count and businesses can easily scale up and down by taking secondments or not, so are lower risk than employment. Trainees complete a Level 5 apprenticeship accredited by the Chartered Management Institute during their 2-year employment with MDS. MDS has never had a trainee leave without a role, 85% of them join MDS member businesses, and nearly everyone stays in the food and fresh produce industry.
There is currently a high level of interest in the scheme from undergraduates and some non-graduates looking to re-train. MDS has nearly 100 trainees on the programme and has the capacity to expand and take on more if we recruit more members.
If you want to know more about MDS, watch this 1 hour webinar which has trainees, alumni and members talking about what they get out of the scheme.
If you are interested in joining MDS as a member, please contact me.
If you are interested in applying to be a trainee, please click here.