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Lawsons Graduate Academy - Who are we?

Lawsons is the UK’s largest independent fencing, timber and builders’ merchants and now boasts 31 branches, 740 employees and £150 million turnover, founded in 1921 and operates across London and the South East of England. 

We are proud to offer a Graduate Academy for sales focused graduates with a desire to develop a successful career in a dynamic organisation. If you are a commercially aware, 2:2 degree or above educated graduate with a passion for taking responsibility, making decisions, using your own initiative and ready to start in Spring 2022, then this will be the Graduate scheme for you! 

We will offer you great career development opportunities, a professional working environment with a family friendly feel as well as a starting salary of £28k, Pension Scheme and a Profit Share Scheme

Programme Overview 

Your Lawsons Graduate Academy journey will begin with a welcome day at our Head Office where you will meet with our Directors, Area Managers and our supporting teams. 

We will give you an overview on the programme content and talk you through the project you will be leading while on the academy, which will explore our impact on the environment. This is a key area of focus as we look to expand the number of electric vehicles in our fleet and find other ways to reduce our carbon footprint. You will also be assigned a mentor on that day who will support you through the scheme and your career with Lawsons. 

Our Graduate Academy is a 24-month programme and has been designed to allow you to be fully immersed in the operation through rotational placements and externally provided courses to support your learning. You will also attend externally provided supplier training that we run for the wider group.

To support your managerial career path you will carry out personality profiling, to better understand your work preferences and strengths, take part in leadership skills training and will have hands on management experiences. 

You will have check in reviews with your Area Manager and respective Branch Manager throughout each rotation. You will also have regular conversations and sessions with your assigned mentor throughout the Graduate Academy.

Academy Activity Timeline

Month 1

You will spend your first month learning about the fundamental operations of the business shadowing key roles such as Counter Sales and Yard Supervisor.

In these roles you will directly support our customers, through dealing with queries, sourcing materials needed to meet requirements for items stocked, agree best possible margins through negotiation whilst building rapport and credibility. Familiarisation of our picking and loading procedures and understanding our customers to ensure you provide the best service. 

Within this rotation you will attend an Excellence in Customer Service course. The modules in this 1 day course are designed to provide a view from the perspective of the customer, highlighting the impact customer service can have on a brand as well and understanding the different demographics of customers ie. trade and retail and examine the right approach to each demographic to ensure they are provided with great customer service.

Months 2 – 6  

Month 2 -6 will be spent work shadowing Internal Sales & External Sales Reps where you will further strengthen your product knowledge. In these rolesthere will be focus on working with existing accounts and partnering on how they identify and capture new sales opportunities, and help to exceed branch sales, margins and gross profit.

You will learn how to generate new business through effective relationship building, undertaking competitor analysis to understand the local markets and asking the right questions to open opportunities.

To support your learning in this rotation you will be enrolled onto a 3 day Fast Track Sales course which is an Institute of Sales Management (ISM)) accredited programme designed to develop techniques and skills to leverage sales performance.

Months 6 - 12  

In this rotation you will partner with stock control and transport to gain knowledge and develop good stock control skills and understand how our products enter and leave our branches.

You will shadow stock check routines and update stock levels on the trading system. Within Transport you will learn the checking routines for our fleet and how to maximise efficiency of delivery of vehicles.

During this placement your learning will be supported by attending a 2 day Managing & Controlling Stock course and a 1 day Transport Training for Non- Transport Managers course.

Months 12 - 18

The second year of your programme is management focused, where you will work-shadow an Assistant Branch Manager for up to a month before taking accountability for the role. This will give you an opportunity to practice your leadership skills, gain insight of the live operation, understand more about our Head Office functions, whilst leading your team and delivering all aspects of day-to-day management of the branch.

To support you in this placement you will take part in a 2-day People Management Skills course which focuses on the importance of the effective management of people and will equip you with the skills to lead a team whilst meeting company objectives. 

Months 18 – 24

After completing the Assistant Branch Manager placement, you will have a review with your Area Manager and mentor to discuss your key learnings, strengths, future potential and career path. This discussion will shape what the last 6 months of the programme will look like for you so that you can continue to further strengthen your knowledge of the business and gain exposure in other environments. 

At the end of the programme we will follow the same review process to determine your appointment into a role within Lawsons Group.

If you are interested in this position please email training@lawsons.co.uk as we would love to hear from you!