One of the unique benefits of MDS is the networking opportunities we provide for our Members and Trainees. Every January and June we host our Meet the Trainees event which allows Trainees and Members to come together and discuss secondments and future career opportunities and aspirations. We also use the event to celebrate the success of our Trainees and the support of our Members. This week during our virtual event we were proud to award the Doug Henderson Award for professional development to Celia Robles Angel and the Peter Shepherd Award for Member engagement to Protolan. This year we have introduced a new award in memory of a previous Chairman; David Bagshaw. The David Bagshaw award is presented to the Trainee who has delivered to the highest standard in all aspects of the apprenticeship programme, and was awarded to Oliver Black.
All of our Members have surpassed our expectations over the last year as we worked together to secure secondments for a record numbers of Trainees, however Protolan stood out to us on this occasion. Protolan have offered numerous secondments in project management and they have recruited MDS Trainees into permanent positions at the end of the programme. They have supported Trainees working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic and have offered Trainees an all-round excellent development opportunity. Richard Whittle is also an MDS director and has taken time from his core business to support MDS and the team. During our most recent round of secondments Protolan exceeded our expectations in order to accommodate a Trainee that needed to start their secondment seven months early. Over the course of a weekend, the role was agreed upon and a start date organised. Protolan already had an MDS Trainee in situ and this agreement was outside of their original plan. These are just a few examples of how Protolan always strive to support MDS and evidence their dedication to developing future leaders.
The winner of the Doug Henderson award, Celia Robles Angel has excelled through all her secondments. This includes volunteering to direct an environmental project to reduce plastic waste, delivering a comprehensive website, and volunteering to support a trials team to monitor, count and dig out different crops no-matter the weather conditions. Celia saw every opportunity as a means of learning and developing. In her most recent role, she became an expert in Mural (a digital collaboration tool) and virtually trained over 200 people, which enabled projects to remain on deadline despite being in the midst of a pandemic. Further to this, whilst working with her secondment manager, she facilitated a series of major global workshops with over 100 participants and saved over $60,000 in the process. Celia has also built a reputation for excellent peer support making herself available to Trainees going into her previous roles, creating manuals, and ensuring comprehensive training plans are organised before she completes the role.
Our apprenticeship programme is designed to develop knowledge and test how the knowledge is being applied in practice. The David Bagshaw award is presented to the Trainee who has delivered to the highest standard in all aspects of the apprenticeship programme. We were delighted to present this award to Oliver Black who has completed secondments at Cobrey Farm, two separate roles at Syngenta Basel and is currently seconded to Morrisons. In each role he has been determined to deliver, meet objectives and increase his skills.
Throughout the apprenticeship, Oliver consistently submitted essays that exceeded expectations. His assignments delve deeper than the advised minimum, he explores an answer from all angles and delivers well-referenced sources outside of those suggested by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI). His work has proven to be amongst the best submitted across all Trainees. Feedback from The Apprenticeship College reported his 501 submission “The principles of management and leadership with an organisational context” was being held as an example of best practice for future Trainees. As well as his outstanding achievements in his written assignments, Oliver has approached all secondment opportunities with enthusiasm, developing skills and knowledge beyond the initial outline of each role. This ranges from providing maternity cover for the Technical Manager at Cobrey Farms, finding and shaping opportunities at Syngenta, through to his current project role at Morrisons where he has been entrusted to manage projects with high levels of complexity.
We would like to congratulate all of our award winners and we look forward to seeing how our Trainees develop over the coming 6 months and continuing to work closely with our Members to support them in developing their leadership pipelines.