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Graduates debate our future at Senior Management Conference

Will VolkerWessels UK look radically different in the late 2020’s? - This is the question we posed to six graduates who took part in a debate, in front of over 200 representatives, at our senior management conference this month.

VolkerStevin’s Jack White and Alasdair Miller, graduate engineers, were chosen, as too were VolkerFitzpatrick’s Farzana Ibrahimo, site engineer, Will Carter, graduate quantity surveyor and Gilbert Davenport, section engineer, along with VolkerRail’s graduate civil engineer, Noemie Powell, from an internal competition, to attend and speak at our senior management conference.

The six graduates were split into teams and given the debate subject, along with which side of the motion they would be chairing, before spending three weeks researching and forming their debate content.

At the conference, each team was given a select amount of time to present their opening statements, substance, rebuttal and closing summary before the room chose which team they felt gave the best performance and delivery of information.

Jack, chairperson of the FOR motion team, said: “Being given the opportunity to speak at the senior manager’s conference was a huge honour. We were captivated by the talks and presentations throughout the day and by the time it was our chance to get on stage and debate we were eager to be involved.

“Our focus saw us discuss some of the changes we predict to see in the next decade. We were given the freedom to debate the subject, through our own views, which made for an authentic debate. The exposure on stage, discussing our research with a fierce passion made us all stand out.”

Alasdair, chairperson of the AGAINST the motion team, said: “When we realised we would be arguing against the motion, our first reaction was that we had drawn the short straw but we decided to put a strong emphasis on the motion itself and the definition of radically. We argued not that VolkerWessels UK wouldn’t change but that any change would take time to ensure positive results. This helped us see things from a new perspective, never thought of before.

“We were all very nervous in the run up to the event but the audience was very friendly and encouraging which helped calm us all. Thanks to everyone who helped us get to that point on the stage, taking the time to meet us, discuss ideas and run through presentation techniques.”

Alan Robertson, CEO said: “Hearing the ideas of some of our rising stars is a must and our graduates, over 80 from across the group, have such passion and energy that providing platforms and engagement opportunities for them to share their thoughts helps in both their personal development and our business growth.

“The standard of content, presentation skills and passion from every graduate was outstanding. Seeing such confidence on stage and watching how engaged the audience were helps reconfirm our collaborative work ethic and our need to ensure investment, of both time and money, is spent on developing tomorrow’s future leaders.”