Issue 45

The Power of Work Based Learning

In today’s fast-paced world, preparing for the future has never been more crucial.

Who are Culina Group?

Culina Group is a logistics company, founded in 1994, covering four sectors; chilled and ambient distribution, co-pack, and resourcing. They have a network of over one hundred locations across UK and Ireland.

Culina Group structure
Culina Group structure

Culina Group is a people driven business seeking to recruit, develop, and retain the best talent by providing consistent ongoing high quality support, guidance and training, to enable them to maximise their expertise and to optimise their potential. 

Our colleagues are absolutely integral to the continued success of our business. Retention and development of our colleagues, combined with recruitment of the very best talent, are crucial to our growth strategy:

    • Our Emerging Talent and Learning and Development Teams provide a comprehensive mix of E-learning, In-house courses, Mentoring Schemes, Apprenticeships, and Management Training Programmes for colleagues at every level within the Group.
    • Every colleague receives a Personal Development Plan (PDP) each year, allowing colleagues to discuss their individual needs and how best Culina Group can help them to achieve their goals.

Culina Group operating centres
Culina Group operating centres

Emerging Talent Initiatives

What is an Apprenticeship?

An Apprenticeship is an immersive learning experience typically balanced with formal education that allows you to learn essential skills within a trade supported by the guidance of professionals while earning a salary at the same time. Unlike traditional academic routes, apprenticeships offer a direct pathway to employment with all of the skills and knowledge you learn within the chosen field. This mixture of learning, experience and application gained is priceless. 

The Culina Group Apprenticeship Programme, referred to internally as the RISE Programme (Recognise, Inspire, Support, and Empower) is part of our GROW Talent strategy, designed to help colleagues to develop knowledge, skills and behaviours that will help them achieve their career aspirations and goals. 

Forming an integral part of PDPs and other performance reviews, RISE is split into four sectors and is managed by our Emerging Talent Team:

  • The Leadership and Management Academy. 
  • The Business Functions Academy.
  • The Logistics and Operations Academy.
  • The Digital Academy.

We utilise the Apprenticeship Levy to the best of our ability so our apprentices can focus on studies and not worry about course fees.

Working with twenty Training Providers, we offer nearly forty different work-based learning courses for staff of all levels; from Level 2 (Intermediate) to Level 7 (Master’s Degree).

Learning and Development initiatives

Our face-to-face and e-learning programmes provide sessions on a diverse range of subjects such as IT, Confidence Building, Employment Law, Accounting, Coaching, GDPR, Financial Strategy and various Microsoft courses which are readily available to use. 

The Mentoring Scheme offers formal on-going support for Mentees to build towards their career aspirations. Mentors and Mentees are paired up based on desired experience for a 12-month period. 

Recruiting through Novus and Other Initiatives 

  • Culina Group are currently partnered with the Novus Trust, searching for the next generation of talent. We attend Novus Trust Sponsor Meetings, gaining insight from the Novus Students’ perspective, and (following initial assessments) we invite Novus Students to our Graduate Assessment Days. 
  • Through Stobart, we are Gold Sponsors of Generation Logistics and are dedicated to engaging with the next generation of Logistics professionals – (

Recruiting Undergraduates, Graduates, and Placement Students

  • Undergraduate Programme – utilising the Apprenticeship Levy, we can fund Degree Apprenticeships. Within this programme, candidates complete their Degree Apprenticeship while working as part of the Culina Group, gaining valuable, real-world experience.
  • Graduate Programmes – currently, there are four Graduate Programmes (Chilled Operations, Culina Asset Management, IPS Operations and IT). Graduates will undertake a two year programme experiencing all elements of their area, while working as a Team Leader. 

Why Culina Group?

We are …

  • Passionate about our people with a clear strategy of structured development for all employees.
  • Recruiting, retaining and developing great people across all our businesses at every level.
  • Committed to maximising the potential of every employee.
  • Committed to new talent recruitment from every area. 
  • Committed to equality and diversity across all our businesses.

Future proofing our business

As we look ahead, it’s essential to recognise the skills that will be in high demand in tomorrow’s workforce. While technical skills are undoubtedly important, so are soft skills such as communication, problem-solving, and adaptability. Work-based-learning offers the perfect platform for developing these essential skills in a real world setting.

Communication skills, for example, are vital in any working environment. Through interactions with colleagues, customers, and supervisors, you will also learn how to effectively articulate ideas, collaborate with others, and resolve conflicts. Similarly, problem solving skills are refined as apprentices encounter challenges and find creative solutions to overcome them.

Adaptability is another skill that work-based-learning can help to cultivate. In today’s society, the ability to adapt to new technologies, processes, and ways of working is invaluable. Learning whilst working introduces individuals to different situations and scenarios, teaching them to be flexible and open to change.

Why not start some research today? Have a look in to the opportunities available to determine which path aligns with your interests and career goals. Whether you’re passionate about logistics, engineering, technology, or business, there’s likely a work-based-learning programme out there that’s the perfect fit for you. The only thing left to do is grab the opportunity, embrace the journey, and watch your potential unfold.

  • Case Study One – Richard Slade – Richard began his journey within Culina Group on the Level 2 LGV Driver Apprenticeship Programme. He successfully passed and has now been promoted to Transport Shift Manager.
  • Case Study Two – Josh Harris – Joshua began on the Level 2 LGV Driver Apprenticeship Programme. He successfully passed has now been promoted to Acting Transport Team Leader. 

We have countless examples of people who have made spectacular progress up the career ladder. With commitment, dedication, and a diligent customer focused attitude, the sky is the limit!

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