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NOVUS graduate inspiration
(L-R) Andy Kaye, founder and chair of the NOVUS Trust; Živilė Valaitytė; James Fairhurst; and David Leach, NOVUS Programme Director

 NOVUS graduate inspiration

The first NOVUS Logistics & Supply Chain Graduates from the University of Huddersfield are now starting their new jobs with leading companies – and they are already inspiring others.

Industry professionals attending the IMHX 2016 exhibition – a major logistics event held recently at the NEC Birmingham – were deeply impressed by a brilliant presentation from NOVUS graduate James Fairhurst and final year student Živile Valaityte, discussing how NOVUS has kick started their careers. They were joined by NOVUS chair Andy Kaye and Programme Director at the University of Huddersfield, David Leach. The session explained how the NOVUS scheme is helping to attract new talent and is supporting the professional development of young people such as James and Živile.

James is among the first NOVUS graduates. In August, he started his promised guaranteed job, having accepted the offer of a key role at one of the UK’s biggest third party logistics (3PL) companies, Wincanton – working on the Nestlé contract.

“I wouldn’t be in this job had it not been for the support of NOVUS,” said James. “I could have done a similar course but I certainly wouldn’t have got this job. How I’ve developed as a person and the opportunities that have opened up through NOVUS are invaluable – that’s showing itself now in my career.”

James’ manager in his new role is James Tooze, a General Manager at Wincanton, who leads a team of 130 colleagues at the Hams Hall National Distribution Centre in Warwickshire. He said: “James is working on a difficult project with a new system implementation on the site. Going through the degree process has been tremendously beneficial for James. He is able to understand the technical solution that’s being proposed and can add value in the testing process.”

As an employer James Tooze, believes the NOVUS experience stands out. “It offers students a refreshing perspective and exposure to the next level of theory. NOVUS students also meet people in the industry that other students wouldn’t have access to. Then there is the advantage of the breadth of skills and training acquired on the work placement. I think that getting on the NOVUS scheme is a really positive move for anybody who is interested in Logistics & Supply Chain to make.”

Živile Valaityte is just about to commence the final year of her NOVUS degree in Logistics & Supply Chain at the University of Huddersfield, having spent her third year placement with major logistics company CEVA Logistics and having also completed work experience with Arla Foods. “With NOVUS, you become work experienced straight away – I’ve already started my career before I’ve even finished university,” she said.

Getting accepted by the NOVUS scheme brings an incredible opportunity for work experience, training, mentoring and a guaranteed job at the end, according to Živile. “I thought: ‘Wow, that’s amazing!’ because I’d been daunted by the fact that when you finish university, you don’t have the experience that employers always seem to be looking for,” she said. “Now, at just 22 years old, I already have experience with two blue chip companies – where else would I get that?”

Would Živile encourage other young people into Logistics and Supply Chain? “Definitely! Whether it is Porsche, Nike, Primark or ASOS… all companies have a lot of logistics going on. If, as a young person, you have any interest in business, then logistics will have a very significant impact.”

Wincanton, Arla Foods, Sainsbury’s, DHL, CEVA Logistics, ASOS, M&S, Morrisons, Smiths News, PZ Cussons, Muller, Howdens Joinery and Hoyer are just some of the 30 NOVUS sponsor companies giving NOVUS students work experience and placements. And, of course, every NOVUS graduate is guaranteed a job. To find out more about NOVUS, email: novus@hud.ac.uk or tel: 01484 471852 or visit: www.novus.uk.com

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