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Morson Projects, the engineering resourcing specialist, has celebrated the success of the company’s early careers development programme with a conference designed to engage, inspire and connect its future talent.

Held at the Lighthouse Church, just a stone’s throw from Morson’s HQ in Salford, the conference brought together more than a hundred high-achieving professionals, and involved problem-solving challenges, along with presentations and opportunities to network.

Morson Projects has developed an industry-leading early careers development programme (ECDP) with clearly defined competencies and goals, mentoring, training, help with chartership, and support from a peer community.

It builds on the informal mentoring that has been the mainstay of the Morson Projects’ approach to developing and supporting talent since the company’s earliest days, with a framework structured around core competencies and a mentoring model that includes training the mentors. For Morson Projects’ early careers engineers, the competencies have been built around the Engineering Council’s model, setting individuals on course for chartership. But the programme is wider than engineering alone; it encompasses all commercial and support roles in the business, incorporating competencies that will support these professionals as they assume project delivery, line management and leadership responsibilities.

For those who join Morson Projects on an early careers pathway – with 100 currently on the team and a target of a further 100 future recruits  – the ECDP involves defined goals, which are reviewed as part of the company’s appraisal and training plan processes.

Chris Burke, Managing Director of Morson Projects comments: “The narrative about skills gaps and talent pipelines gets plenty of discussion in engineering sectors, but Morson Projects has been taking steps to develop the next generation of talent since our earliest days. The company’s very first apprentice, Steve Seddon, now client services director at Morson, was in the room for the ECDP conference, as was Jordan Knapp, former Morson Projects apprentice, now our engineering delivery manager, and the founder of the structured ECDP we offer our team today.

“Our ECDP offers us a consistent framework that empowers every early careers employee to take ownership of their own professional goals and development, enabling them to contribute to our business and our clients’ projects in a much more meaningful way.”

Alongside the networking opportunities, ice breaker challenges and final project – which involved a two hour challenge to create two mini robots from scratch! – delegates at Morson Projects’ ECDP conference had the opportunity to hear from Morson’s brand ambassador, Andy Reid MBE. A triple amputee who, following his life-changing injuries in Afghanistan has gone on to raise more than £300,000 for charity and establish a mental health foundation.

While Andy’s story is very different from the delegates’ work environment, much of what he learned, as a solider and since his injuries, resonates with all who want to succeed and become leaders. His talk touched on themes of respecting people, setting the standard you want to see in others, having empathy, prioritising tasks, and accepting responsibility for your decisions.

Delegates also had the opportunity to look ahead to what the ECDP will mean for them at Morson Projects, thanks to a Q&A session with the company’s ECDP champions. These experienced members of the Morson Projects team support ECDP employees as they achieve their competency goals, and the conference provided an ideal opportunity for them to ask questions, both in the Q&A session and informally during breaks and the evening’s entertainment.

Jordan Knapp, ECDP Founder added “We want to invest in our early careers teams, because they matter to us, our clients and our industry. When it comes to skills gaps and securing future talent, giving someone a job is not enough – we need to engage and inspire people to love their job and see where their career could take them.”

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