If you can’t find the answers here please contact us at: info@mds-ltd.co.uk

Can I choose my secondments?

The quick answer is no, as the purpose of MDS is to provide the widest possible opportunity to manage a variety of commercial situations and meet pre-set objectives. In reality, you would be consulted about location and type of job, but the decision is ultimately made by MDS.

Does MDS make a profit?

No. MDS is a non-profit making co-operative, registered as a Friendly Society with the Financial Services Authority.

Who provides accommodation for the trainees on secondment?

The trainee themselves, although Members’ help is appreciated. Some companies have on-site accommodation that is available to rent. Others may provide a week’s bed and breakfast to give the trainee time to find something suitable. Many provide advice on the best areas to live in or advertise for accommodation on staff notice boards.

Who pays the trainee’s salary?

Management trainees are employed directly by MDS and we pay their salary. This is funded by invoicing Members on a monthly basis for each trainee seconded to them. The invoice amount covers their salary and a contribution towards training costs and MDS overheads.

Is there a minimum requirement of each Member company?

Yes. At least one Winter and one Summer secondment each year so management trainees have continuous employment.

What type of secondments should be made available?

We ask for a range of secondments, both in terms of level of responsibility and function. There should be opportunity for trainees on their first assignment right through to the final secondment in the programme, across a wide area… production, technical, commercial and so on. This flexibility is necessary to ensure trainees can gain experience across the whole supply chain and ensure that all Members share the training input.

What is a typical secondment?

Secondments vary greatly. Some members identify a role to be filled in an ongoing programme by an MDS trainee, such as packhouse production supervisor. Others are one-off projects, to meet seasonal requirements, to trial a new position, to fulfil a customer request or to cover maternity leave. The common link is that all secondments must offer management responsibility.

What makes a good secondment?

The biggest difference comes from the relationship between the management trainee and the secondment manager. The most beneficial secondments for all sides are those where the trainee receives good induction and initial training, has clear responsibilities and objectives and receives regular, constructive feedback on their performance and development.

Can I choose the trainee for my secondment?

MDS co-ordinates the secondments to ensure all management trainees receive as broad an experience as possible. Secondments are matched carefully with management trainees to achieve a balance between their previous experience, development needs and the needs of the Member company. It is important to remember MDS offers a training programme and therefore trainees must be given the opportunity to gain new experience and develop new skills.

How does the recruitment element work?

Member companies have access to trainees who have completed the programme as soon as membership is approved. Management trainees cannot be recruited while they are part-way through the programme. As they near completion, their details are circulated to all Members. A ‘transfer fee’ is payable by Members who recruit a trainee in this way, as an investment into the future of the programme.