Graduate development festival
Spirax-Sarco Engineering is one of the world- leading providers of steam and thermal energy solutions.
Investing heavily in the recruitment of early-in-career talent, Spirax-Sarco Engineering have a huge apprentice and graduate population and their graduate development programme has gained a reputation for being best in class. A key element of this is their annual graduate conference, which brings together grads from across the world for an immersive, high-value development experience. Usually delivered face to face, pandemic restrictions meant that their existing grad conference could not be held in the usual way.
With a more disparate graduate population, due to lockdown, the talent team were set the challenge of creating an equally inspiring, connected and immersive programme, but to do it virtually. A key objective was creating an innovative and exciting solution that reconnected their graduate population, and enabled them to receive the same kind of attention, development and investment as previous grad populations.
Spirax-Sarco Engineering were looking for a partner with deep expertise in self-leadership and leadership development to help them deliver ‘GradCon’ – a global graduate festival, focused on connecting their graduates and developing the critical skills they needed in a creative and fun way.
Working alongside platform developers, HeadBox, Ivy House were tasked with designing and delivering the ‘GradCon’ programme. Built around the elements of fire, water, earth and air, we supported the design of the whole 5-day festival, which was delivered in partnership with HeadBox. The Ivy House team owned the ‘development tent’ at the festival through a series of fully interactive and engaging masterclasses, activities and workshops.
With the added challenge of delivering a global solution, we designed a programme that enabled all the grads across the world to connect, and experience the full festival, despite operating in different time zones – we love a challenge!
The programme had 2 key objectives:
To develop the critical skills their grads needed as they transitioned into BAU and leadership roles.
To create an immersive and engaging experience that was memorable, varied, enabled grads to connect with their peers across the globe, have fun, feel invested in and created deep-seated change.
The programme was a huge success, and whilst the pandemic may have stopped Spirax-Sarco Engineering bringing their graduates together physically, we brought them together virtually in a way that delivered everything that their graduate conference would in normal circumstances, and more.
We now have an incredibly strong partnership with Spirax-Sarco Engineering and are already working with them to design their graduate solution for next year.
“We engaged with Ivy House to deliver leadership development training to the grads on our global grad programme. This was part of what we call GradCon; a 2 week conference, bringing together our graduates to give them an opportunity to connect, learn, develop, socialise and grow.
In the months leading up to the event the Ivy House team joined our project team and our planning meetings became the highlight of the week! The attention to detail, creative ideas and enthusiasm from Ivy House was exceptional and the delivery the same. Many of our grads, when referring to Ivy House sessions, used the words “life changing” and “enlightening”, I think that probably says it all!
It was critical that we gave our grads a really positive experience – one where they left with the tools to embark on their careers with confidence. We absolutely achieved that and are now busy planning the next one!”Caroline Ellis, Early Careers Manager, Spirax-Sarco Engineering