Ambition Welcome: XPO Apprenticeships Unlock Mutual Growth
Leadership | Lynn Brown, HR Director – UK and Ireland | Feb. 11, 2022
“You grow, we grow” is a phrase we often use at XPO Logistics.
Usually, we use it to refer to our training programs for new employees, competitive benefits and upskilling. But it’s bigger than that — ‘You grow, we grow’ is about XPO’s mindset of developing team members. We believe there’s a significant correlation between individual employee growth and company performance. When our employees become increasingly valuable to our organization, it’s satisfying for them, and it helps us grow as a company.
Some of our most popular avenues for growth are our apprenticeship programs, including our highly publicized driver training apprenticeship, which addresses the universal driver shortage. We’ve had more than 2,000 applicants for our driver training apprenticeships in England alone.
In total, about 120 apprentices are working in XPO operations in the UK and Ireland across different functions right now. Over the past five months, we’ve enrolled 40 new apprentices from inside the company and through external recruitment. Some are training to operate heavy goods vehicles, and once they graduate, they’ll serve a critical function by keeping goods flowing through supply chains for our customers. In addition, we currently have 14 apprentices in accountancy and finance, four in human resources and 38 in other career paths, such as leadership and management.
The learning doesn’t stop after our apprentices finish their training — they have access to ongoing professional development programs. And, as employees become more senior and advance to management positions, they can take advantage of additional upskilling resources.
'Leading the XPO way'
For example, we recently launched two four-day ‘Leading the XPO Way’ workshops as part of our leadership development programme. Twenty people attended these training sessions, focusing on fostering new managers coming into the transportation industry or managers progressing into senior roles internally. It covers successful leadership behaviours and provides participants with an appreciation of different working styles and personality types within the workplace. We also offer a leadership and management apprenticeship, which provides an inside view of the day-to-day people skills needed to succeed as an influential manager.
These programmes are a way for us to show the external market that we care about supporting our employees and providing them with opportunities to become familiar with the details of their next career step before they take it.
We’ve also made significant investments in the mental health aspect of employee well-being. A number of XPO team members recently graduated from the Mental Health First Aider training programme with Mental Health England. We’re proud that more of our colleagues are learning the best way to support team members when sensitive issues arise.
Setting new talent up for success
Our determination to recruit top talent to XPO covers many avenues, including local universities. Since August 2021, we’ve taken on four new graduates who recently studied in the Northumbria, Derby, York and Sheffield regions of the UK. Three of these graduates will be doing operational apprentices at the same time, and one finance graduate will do an apprenticeship in the same field simultaneously. We have additional opportunities for an MBA/post-graduate cohort of potential logistics graduates to further expand our talent pool.
We believe the apprenticeship format is a highly effective way to introduce people to various services within the supply chain sector and set them up for success. And, there will be more to come — the amazing talent these apprenticeships bring to XPO inspires us to introduce new offerings and show prospective employees why our company is a great place to work.