Soham Village College year ten Business studies partnership concludes with site visit and MD masterclass

At the end of January 2019 twenty-two successful year ten Business Studies students from Soham Village College were treated to a site tour of our Headquarters in Newmarket, along with an opportunity to meet and listen to Paul Day, Managing Director, explain some of his business strategies and thinking.

Stephen Blackmore explains more….

Following an approach by Zinnia Parr, Head of Business Studies, we put together a programme of events linked to the Year ten students’ subject curriculum.

This started with a classroom presentation introducing the students to Turners and our business activities throughout the UK and mainland Europe.

This was followed by a two stage challenge.

Stage one: a tough Logistics challenge was presented and briefly explained setting out the objectives and timescales involved. The students then had to work in small groups through a six week period with the aim of presenting back to myself and Phil Wilding (Turners Traffic Manager), in whatever format they chose on October 30th.

Stage two: was to complete an application form that would help determine which group of students would then visit Turners on January 31st.

On October 30th, presentation day, Phil and I were incredibly impressed with the quality and commitment shown from the groups to the challenge set. It clearly demonstrated that the students had applied themselves, used their own individual strengths in the groups to produce and present some very good solutions to the questions asked.

 85 applications were received for the Turners visit in January. Zinnia, Phil and I judged these on some key qualities shown by the students that demonstrated their individual development whilst tacking the challenge. This process allowed us to choose the successful twenty two.

On January 31st the successful group of students along with Zinnia and Mary Wilcox were shown around the key operations at our Newmarket headquarters. This started with our fruit grading and packaging operation PPL.

Followed by our traffic and planning operations allowing the students to see how their Logistics challenge actually worked in real day to day life.

The final operation being our Coldstore experiencing not only the sheer scale of storing and managing over 100,000 pallets but at -25 degree temperatures.

Then,after some lunch and refreshments, we were joined by Paul Day who gave an overview of Turners, its history, his role and how the business has developed into the largest privately owned transport company in the UK.

Finally the students had the opportunity to ask most of the questions posed on their application forms. These ranged from how Paul entered the business, who his business inspirations are, what are the most challenging areas of the business and a number on how he relaxes and manages his time outside of Turners achieving a work life balance.

We hope that through this process all the students involved have gained a greater understanding of our Logistics operations and how Turners offers a whole range of career opportunities within many of its UK operations.

A final word goes to thank the students for their positive attitude, exceptional behaviour and commitment shown to this project. We wish them all future success and hopefully they will give Turners serious consideration when choosing a career in the coming years.