Never underestimate the talent pool in apprenticeships, Amelle Mestari, head of procurement at energy and infrastructure company Bouygues Energies and Services, told a CIPS/Supply Management Forum.
“The UK operational director and legal director have both come through apprenticeships,” explained Mestari.
Bouygues strives to provide a positive environment that challenges its 12,500 employees in 80 countries to progress and ‘upskill’, she said. It offers learning through its digital platform ByLearn, the Bouygues Construction University, CIPS courses, and encourages attendance at CIPS events and conferences. It also offers personal development programmes and mentoring schemes.
Bouygues also aims to reap the benefits from employee skill sharing. “In the construction purchasing network we have a very diverse team,” said Mestari. Gender diversity at BYES is 55% men and 45% women, and between them employees speak 35 different languages. Each person contributes different skills and viewpoints, which improves problem solving by increasing creativity.
And a mentoring scheme has been “breaking down the barriers between junior and senior employees”. Collaboration can be a game changer that opens doors to training and connects employees with market stakeholders, said Mestari.