After failing all four of his A levels in August 2017 Matt sat down with his parents unclear what opportunities were now available to him. In the hope to make a change and find employment Matt signed up for his local Job Centre. After a few weeks Matt’s job coach suggested he attend the taster session of the Unilever Movement to Work scheme, simply to gain an insight into the range of career paths available. This one decision ended Matt’s uncertainty of what to do next and saw the start of a new and exciting career path!
Matt’s Taster Day
During the taster day Matt’s enthusiasm and attention to detail shone through and later that day was delighted to discover he has been accepted for a place on the programme. Charlie, soon to be Matt’s line manager, was impressed by his attitude to make a change as he had found himself in a similar situation after school and could relate. Charlie saw huge amounts of potential in Matt and was determined to assist him with having a fresh start.
Matt’s performance on the programme
Matt’s first day in the office was a blur but he took his roles and responsibilities in his stride. Over the four weeks he supported Charlie on the delivery of promotional plans in the deodorants team. This required the confidence of approaching employees in different functions to collaborate and ensure deadlines were met. Charlie was so impressed by Matt’s eagerness to learn that he extended the placement from four to six weeks.
When Matt was asked how he found the six weeks he explained “Absolutely amazing! Everyone is so happy to help, which I was surprised by such a big company. I know a lot of people say, ’No question is a stupid question’ but they actually mean it at Unilever”.
Matt’s impressive performance was reviewed as part of our end of placement calibration. In this session, it was highlighted that Matt was showing fantastic progression. Specifically, his bias for action, drive and ambition were called out as strengths. With this feedback, a recommendation was made for Matt to be fast-tracked to the 2018 Unilever Apprenticeship Assessment Centre.
On the day of the Assessment Centre, Matt’s confidence and experience from his time on the Movement to Work placement were evident. Matt was able to answer questions thoroughly and utilised real-life challenges and examples to bring his responses to life.
Matt commented “For the first time I really knew what I was talking about!”.
This was reflected in feedback from assessors across the board, who praised Matt’s ambition, pragmatism and ability to offer confident and strong responses. His performance was rewarded when Matt was one of four individuals offered a placement on our Business Administration Apprenticeship programme.
Beyond the programme
Prior to the apprenticeship starting the following March Unilever saw he was a talent not to be missed and Matt was offered a two month work contract which provided him with a real insight in to the range of role at Unilever and the ability to expand his skill set further.
During the two months Matt spent his time developing a new system for our sales team, the U-Plan system which has been a key contributor to the teams 2018 success.
Journey into sustainable employment
Since starting the Business Administration Apprenticeship in March Matt has been a commercial executive on the Morrisons team and is an extremely valuable member of the team. He has shown resilience, perseverance and hard work which has enabled him to progress in such a short space of time. Matt works closely with Senior National Account Managers and Customer Director every day. Matt is showing great improvement week on week and will be a heavy contributor to what will be a very strong year for Morrisons.
Matt is a great example of the long-term career opportunities that are available to individuals. For Unilever UKI, being able to engage with and support young, talented individuals in their transition from education to employment is a key part of our talent agenda. We are committed to supporting more individuals like Matt in the future.