FAQs

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


How are secondments assigned to trainees?

MDS look at the development needs of each trainee and match them to a suitable role. The idea is to place people in varying types of roles which they are capable of, but will stretch them. Once trainees have been assigned a secondment, they do an interview with the Member Company to confirm suitability.

How many places are there and when are the intakes?

There are 30 places available in total each year, with groups of up to 15 starting in April and October.

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.