Our first Graduate Programme began in 2017 covering a wide range of units including core management skills and leadership capabilities, to managing relationships confidently, with the ultimate goal of developing future leaders within the business.

Our initial participants were Technical Graduates who would master skills in leadership, paper technology, quality and process capability. In addition, as part of their day to day responsibilities, they provided expert technical services to the business in colour, laboratory and mill chemistry projects.

Their studies were designed to achieve qualifications in 6 Sigma lean manufacturing (Green Belt), ISO auditing and PAV/VQ-SET paper technology.

"My greatest achievement as part of the programme has to be getting accredited as a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt practitioner. The course was challenging but rewarding, and it was great to see my project having a positive impact on COLOURFORM™. The support from the team has been exceptional, and they gave me the freedom to really put my mark on the business as it developed. Helping to deliver the campaign for our biggest customer, as well as presenting to them when they came to site, are experiences which have truly shaped me as a person." (Grace Cowperthwaite)

Our graduates also undertook a business project which resulted in the delivery of the ‘Quest’ roadshow: engaging fellow employees from all divisions with an insight into quality issues and resulting costs, and then inviting them to suggest improvements.

We are very proud of our four graduates who have now secured roles within company. They showed enthusiasm and commitment throughout the programme and we wish them every success as they complete the final year of their CMI Leadership Level 3 certification.

"I joined James Cropper in August 2017 – less than a month after graduating from a teaching degree. I found the transition from education to industry was made easier with the support of Mark Lowther and his technical team. I moved over to COLOURFORM™ the following year and became a full time graduate for them. The James Cropper graduate programme gave me a great insight into papermaking and the skills necessary to develop as a future leader. I am looking forward to ‘life beyond the grad scheme’ and being able to build on my training to deliver even more for COLOURFORM™ as their Product and Technical Coordinator." (Grace Cowperthwaite)

Cropper Graduates group 311d135ab292f8dafa4735b554788f2a