Boots UK wins a 2014 Big Tick award from Business in the Community for ‘Inspiring Young Talent”. Read more here
Supporting people into work
We believe it’s really important for our customers, colleagues and the company as a whole that we continue to recruit and develop the very best and most talented people. We offer a number of employment schemes designed to reach people from all over the UK and from all walks of life. This includes young people about to leave the education system, those not in employment, education or training or those about to exit the care system.
1. Award-winning Work Inspiration:
Our annual Work Inspiration programme at our Nottingham support office offers 100 young people aged 14-24 the opportunity to experience the wide variety of roles available in a large business like Boots. They hear from senior executives about how their personal careers developed, get the opportunity to spend time experiencing real work in their preferred department (including designing their own Boots products!). They also receive help from our own recruitment experts with the skills and techniques they need to tackle job interviews and assessment centres.
- We had great feedback from the 2013 Work Inspiration programme:
- 96% agreed that "the programme was interesting and informative"
- 96% of the participants answered positively in rating the whole programme
- 95% agreed that the programme was well organised
- 81% responded positively about their time spent in their department
In 2012 our Work Inspiration programme was extended from one week to a fortnight so that the young people could work towards a valuable qualification as part of their time with
We have worked with Babington College to provide part of a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ). Frank Lord, Chairman of Babington College, said:
Work Inspiration success:
- In 2012 our Work Inspiration programme was judged by Business in the Community (BITC) as the national example of excellence. When we further developed the scheme we were re-accredited with a BITC Award for Excellence (also known as a 'Big Tick')
- In May 2013 our capability team and our apprentices shared our expertise by hosting a ‘Big Conversation’ event for 70 local chief executives with the aim of inspiring them to create work inspiration and apprenticeship opportunities in their own organisations
- In July 2013 we also encouraged suppliers at our annual conference to introduce their own programme of work inspiration
Our two-year apprenticeships, working towards a Level 4 in Business Administration, offer in-store work experience and also include roles in our IT, Finance, HR, Pharmacy and Commercial teams. The programme started in 2011 and, like our Work Inspiration initiative, includes input from Babington College.
3. Year in Industry
In July 2012 we welcomed our first 'Year in Industry' students to our Nottingham support office, providing their year away from university to learn how we put customers at the heart of everything we do. This scheme gives young people practical work experience and helps them to learn how our business works. Students often go on to our graduate programme.
Recent successes include:
- 10 of the 2012 group will be coming back to join our graduate programme in 2014
- A further 22 people joined in 2013 across our support office functions
Our graduate development programme covers Stores, IT, Finance, Commercial and Supply Chain areas of our business. The graduates join us both in the support office and across our stores throughout the UK, and are encouraged to make an instant impact on the business. They go on to become store and support office leaders through a series of placement roles, which provide practical experiences designed to nurture their talent. They also undertake projects for Macmillan Cancer Support to further improve their team working skills.
Development activities are planned throughout their two year programme as well as on-the-job learning, which take place in real roles throughout the business. At the end of their programme graduates join one of our teams or stores as a leader and we provide a career development day to support them in thinking about the various career routes open to them at Boots.
- We were judged to be the winner of, and ranked 16th overall out of 100 employers across all sectors
5. Ex-military Work Placement Scheme
Within Boots the Military Work Placement Scheme gives UK armed forces personnel a chance to experience the commercial sector before they leave the services. This helps their integration into the working world in whatever job they go on to pursue.
Our Boots UK Burton Service Centre and the Boots UK Store Service Centre at the Nottingham support office offer a fantastic programme that provides candidates with the opportunity to work in a civilian organisation like Boots and gain experience shadowing line managers and supporting stores.
6. Helping to reduce re-offending
As a large employer with an influential supply chain, Boots believes in recruiting people from all walks of life, including those who have experienced the criminal justice system. Many people in this position will never make it to an interview, let alone employment, as employers see it as too risky. However, we know that giving people an opportunity ultimately leads to less re-offending, less crime and has a positive impact on society.
Marco Pagni (Executive Vice President, Global Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel of Walgreens Boots Alliance) is a member of The Employment for Excluded Groups Leadership Team within Business in the Community (BITC), the Prince’s responsible business network. The team is committed to helping people who face serious challenges, such as homelessness and criminal convictions, by increasing access to sustainable employment. Marco said, "This is not a simple issue. People end up offending for a variety of complex reasons, as employers the most powerful thing we can do is to help create a second chance for offenders so that it is possible for people with criminal convictions to enter employment and get back on track."
Read a BITC case study on how Boots supports sustainable employment.
The Boots Work Inspiration programme has a huge societal impact, enabling young people to develop their interpersonal skills and have a truly inspirational work experience that makes a real difference through the innovative way Boots engages with them. Boots is keen to see that everyone has the opportunity to receive a qualification for their participation in the programme. The qualification the learners complete during Work Inspiration is part of a Level 2 qualification called ‘Supporting the Delivery of Effective Customer Service.
The Boots Apprenticeship Programme is a fantastic opportunity to set you up for a lasting career in a major international pharmacy-led health and beauty group.
The scheme really aids personal development by giving you a defined role within a company. This means you can combine both university learning and real-life situations within a business to build your understanding and knowledge
Rebecca Jane Bowley
The graduate scheme is the beginning and foundation of what I hope to be a long and successful career at Boots
Safeguarding and Prevent
We have a Safeguarding and Prevent policy which sets out how we help our young or vulnerable colleagues to stay safe from harm, whether that’s inside or outside of work. It also tells our colleagues what signs they might spot if someone is at risk of harm and who they should contact if they are worried, so we can get them the help they need. The policy is displayed on our noticeboards at work and can also be found under Related Resources (Policies) on this page.