The Graduate Development Programme (GDP) of Thales’ UK arm has received recognition from the Institute of Innovation and Knowledge Exchange (IKE).
Taking into account how Thales’ GDP was designed, structured and delivered, the IKE award is based not only on the impact on graduates, but also the business units and line managers they are attached to. The programme involves up to 200 grads each year, who undergo a 24 month training assessment across 12 business units, including defence, space, aerospace, ground transportation and security.
“We see innovation as the ‘golden thread’ that helps our new graduates to imagine the future and embrace new and emerging technologies to create value for us and our customers,” said Lynne Watson, director of Professional Development at Thales UK. “It allows people to pursue their ambitions within the company and creates a rich environment to help satisfy career development.”
“Going through the IKE Assured process for our Graduate Development Programme has helped us ensure that we are taking the most effective actions to embed innovation skills within our day to day activities, and to ensure that learning and knowledge is efficiently internalised and disseminated across the business. Achieving external validation for innovation skills is particularly important for employees at the beginning of their careers.”
According to Thales, it encourages new grads to work on independent projects, developing new applications for emerging technologies such as smart cities, autonomous vehicles, and cybersecurity. This is encouraged through activities such as Innovation SPRINTs and Hackathons, as well as involvement in business challenges at the company’s design centres.
Professor Sa’ad Medhat, chief executive of IKE, commented: “Thales has demonstrated a strong commitment to nurturing innovation skills and practices such as design thinking and creative problem solving, thus igniting interactions between graduates and other parts of the company and moulding the innovation capability throughout its workforce.”
“Achieving the IKE Assured accreditation underlines Thales’ dedication to ensuring that the company keeps pace with fast changing technologies, maintains a strong pipeline of commercial innovation and maximises the potential of new talent to enhance and strengthen its business.”