Female Apprentice talking to colleague

February 09, 2024

Unlocking potential: Stericycle’s approach to apprenticeships

For nearly 35 years, Stericycle has delivered innovative clinical waste management solutions that protect people and organisations, promote health and safeguard the environment. 

This rich history gives us the tools and expertise to attract and retain the best talent in the industry. With more than 10,000 team members across 12 countries, we are proud to have a huge and diverse set of skills across the company. But we also believe we have a responsibility to both nurture and develop this talent. After all, harnessing the strength, ideas and expertise of our team members is part  of our core values.

As National Apprenticeship Week draws to a close, we’ve spoken to Talent Manager, Mike Bratby-Bale, about how Stericycle realises our commitment to learning and development, what it means for both the business and team members and why we’d like to go even further.

What we offer at Stericycle

At the heart of our approach to apprenticeships is the genuine desire to help team members realise their full potential. There are several ways in which Stericycle  does this, which means we’re able to offer wide-ranging opportunities within different functions across the business. 

From internal programmes such as our driver academy that’s delivered in collaboration with The National Logistics Academy, to supporting Skills for Life with other recognised apprenticeship providers nationally, Stericycle has developed several pathways to successfully upskill its workforce.  These included drivers, plant workers and shared services personnel. 

But how does it all work?

Mike Bratby-Bale, Talent Manager, told us “We’re developing our next-generation of experts and team members, bringing-in new people to join our apprenticeship programmes and help make a difference to our business.  As an apprentice, team members both study and gain valuable hands-on experience in one of our functions setting themselves up for their future career with us. 

We also offer learning opportunities, from GCSE to Degree level apprenticeship courses, to our existing team members offering a rounded development programme while team members succeed in their full-time roles.

Mike adds: “Development opportunities are available to all team members wherever we operate but in England we draw upon the Apprenticeship Levy, which funds the apprenticeship programmes, to upskill our staff.”

Creating a culture of growth

To encourage personal and professional growth, it’s important to create a company culture where everyone is striving for continuous development. 

Mike continued: “In 2020, we recognised that the number of LGV drivers was shrinking with many retraining and moving away from the profession. We developed a partnership with The National Logistics Academy to upskill our existing workforce to reinforce a strong commitment to developing our own team members. 

“We've continued to evolve our approach and now a fifth cohort of team members are starting on their learning journey through our Driver Academy.  This is a testament to its success, and a major factor has been the support of leaders across the business who actively encourage team members to develop their skills while supporting them in their studies.”

These sentiments are echoed by Will Gardner, Regional Manager Service & Processing. 

Will has been working in Stericycle for 13 years and has just completed his latest training opportunity – a Level 5 Operations and Departmental Manager apprenticeship. 

He said: “In the 13 years I’ve been here, I really can’t fault Stericycle’s investment in me and the support it gives team members to develop their skills and experience. I’ve undertaken an apprenticeship programme and have always been encouraged and supported by line managers and the leadership team.

“Passing an apprenticeship or any development opportunity is a massive milestone and it’s a great feeling – not only to accomplish something you may not think was in reach but to get congratulated within the wider group and across the business.  It feels like something we’re all a part of and embeds a development culture where team members who want to learn, feel enabled to do that – I’ve got members of my own team currently on courses which will support them in reaching the maximum potential in their roles – it’s highly motivating for them and for me as a manager.”

Benefits all round

As Mike says, supporting and developing future talent is something Stericycle is becoming increasingly passionate about, and the benefits work both ways.

He added: “Our team members become their best selves. They’re empowered to move forward with their careers and we’ve seen people who study and graduate use those new skills everyday in their roles. The programmes go hand in hand with our own values at Stericycle - we protect what matters is our promise and we can achieve that better future for our team members and the communities we serve when our team members feel confident, empowered and successful in their career.

Will added: “As well as personal development, offering training helps benefit the business greatly in terms of staff retention and upskilling. It gives team members a real sense of appreciation because they see Stericycle is investing in people, and in the right way.”

Expanding our opportunities

Stericycle’s development programmes is an ongoing success yet Mike knows there is still more that can be done. “We’re making huge strides and empowering our people to learn more, further their education and do better in their roles, We’re rolling out training programmes globally that will allow us to really supercharge our workforce so we can continue in our quest to build a better future for everyone.”

At Stericycle, we see apprenticeships not just as a training program but to unleash the potential within our own workforce. As we celebrate National Apprenticeship Week, Stericycle remains dedicated to expanding this initiative and actively contributing to the development of a skilled and empowered workforce.

For more information on how you can be part of our team, visit our careers website at careers.stericycle.com or reach out to ukrecruitment@stericycle.com