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Vets4Pets Wins Institute Of Student Employers Award For Best Graduate Onboarding And Induction Activities Programme

1 month ago

16th December, 2020 12h50


Vets4Pets’ Graduate programme has become the first of its kind to be recognised outside of the profession for the work it does in supporting graduates with the transition from university to full-time practice. The programme supports both UK and international vet graduates, ensuring they receive the best possible start to their careers and are fully prepared for the future. 

The Institute of Student Employers (ISE) judges singled out how the Vets4Pets Graduate programme sets graduates up for success, and were also impressed by “the collaborative approach to designing the programme”. From the outset Vets4Pets worked with specialist learning providers, such as Vet Led, and leading experts in mindful leadership in order to help graduates develop the behavioural shift needed as they begin their life in practice.

Gordon Dunn, People Director at Vets4Pets, said: “As a leading UK veterinary employer, we view it as our personal responsibility to fully prepare graduates at the beginning of their career. This includes, but isn’t limited to, ensuring they are equipped with the right skills and behaviours to forge their own individual career pathway, and increase the chances of them remaining in the profession. The induction and onboarding of our graduates forms the lynchpin of our programme, and clearly sets out what is to come. Being recognised for the work we’re doing to develop the next generation of veterinary talent is a huge celebration for us and is a testimony to the investment made and hard work over the last few years to develop and evolve a world-class development programme. We’re extremely proud to be recognised for this achievement.”

The Vets4Pets Graduate programme is designed and developed in collaboration with graduates, Joint Ventures Partners and vet students, and combines clinical CPD with a tailored non-clinical CPD programme, which supports wider behavioural development including wellbeing, mindfulness, resilience, communication and black box thinking.

Emily Bridges, Graduate Programme Lead at Vets4Pets, who knows first-hand what it’s like to be a freshly graduated vet, having previously worked as a vet surgeon, said: “The transition from vet school to the challenging realities of life in practice is arguably the most testing period vets encounter. As a team, we work extremely closely with both our Joint Venture Partners and graduates to ensure that new graduates are a good fit for our practices, and the practice is right for them too; setting them up for future success. Arriving at this transition period with a range of robust coping mechanisms allows graduates to use the challenges they encounter to ‘make” them’, rather than ‘break them’. If resilient, they will bounce back from these challenges and become even stronger vets.”

The key outcomes of the Vets4Pets Graduate programme are to equip graduates with the year one skills they need to thrive in practice and to provide them with the competencies and coping strategies they need to become confident, resilient individuals. The primary focus is to give them the best start to their veterinary career, which will ultimately benefit the wider profession.

Jane Balmain, Chief Operating Officer at Vets4Pets, said: “Our Graduate programme ensures that every single year we are able to welcome 80 fresh faces and new talent to the business. That’s 80 people from different backgrounds, different nationalities and different universities, who all have different interests and ideas. They bring with them a wealth of knowledge and fresh enthusiasm every single year and that’s really exciting. I know that individual practices benefit from this – but we as a business also value this immensely. This year’s launch of our new Graduate Next Steps alumni fund means we can continue to support our graduate’s career aspirations, and I was honoured to be part of the awarding panel granting funds for successful applicants to continue to study for certificates in a range of subjects including Medicine, Surgery, Behaviour & Exotics, right through to complete training in ultrasonography and acupuncture; as well as supporting volunteer placements abroad.”

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