Kick-starting careers – giving future talent essential career skills

Kick-starting careers – giving future talent essential career skills

Taking graduate trainees and apprentices out of the office and out of their comfort zone can quickly develop the soft skills they need to be successful in the workplace. Jacobs, one of the world’s leading providers of technical, professional and construction services, is well aware of the benefits our outdoor development programme offers.

For more than a decade, the global organisation has sent its UK graduate trainees to Lakeside. This year, around 120 trainees were put through their paces by our professional development instructors during the company’s four-day UK Graduate Conference and Development programme. Jacobs’ Learning & Development Manager, Fallon Faulkner says:

“The Lakeside residential is a valuable experience for our graduate trainees. The activities challenge them both physically and mentally, making them far more aware of their strengths and natural behaviours. This knowledge and awareness helps them to grow as individuals.”


Working in teams, delegates are given a series of tasks, from water-based teamwork challenges to land-based ethical problems. At the end of the session, Graduates are required to give constructive feedback, which helps to develop management skills.

Tony Ball, Lakeside Programme Operations Manager says: “This type of experiential learning can be a real eye-opener for the people involved but the focus is always on the positive. It gives delegates an understanding of how they can play to their strengths by giving them skills for work and skills for life.”

The event is also used as a networking opportunity, allowing delegates to build good working relationships with their colleagues from other locations. These relationships will be very important as they progress their career at Jacobs and work on projects in different parts of the country and around the world.

Raft on land



Katie Bremner, Jacobs UK graduate says: “The Jacobs UK graduate weekend was an amazing opportunity to meet people from all across Jacobs. The lakeside activities created a fun and exciting experience for us to bond socially and overcome practical challenges. The staff were great at encouraging us to think about leadership and teamwork skills which I now apply in my day-to-day role.”

For more information about our professional development programmes call 01539 539000 or email

Download our professional development brochure to learn about all our programmes