Business Graduate Programme
About the programme
As a Verastar Business Graduate you’ll learn essential skills to prepare yourself for a successful career. Over the course of 18 months, we’ll equip you with all the tools you need to thrive within a modern business.
SETTING YOU UP TO SUCCEED (6 MONTHS)
During your first 6 months on programme you’ll rotate in groups around our customer-facing teams and experience first-hand how we attract, grow and look after our customers. You’ll gain a rare insight into how our business operates which will give you a huge advantage once in your placement. You’ll be supported as you develop your skills in people management, teamwork, project management and stakeholder management.
Your Business Rotations:
Learn about how we continue to grow our customer base by explaining the range of essential services we provide – water, green energy, fibre broadband, VOIP, payments and business insurance – on one simple bill.
Gain first-hand knowledge about how we help our customers by spending time with our Customer Care teams. From handling queries or issues the customer may experience once a service is ‘live’ to how we resolve issues, including basic billing enquiries and diagnosing faults.
Provisioning – Communications
Understand what happens before a new customer goes live with telecoms and broadband packages, from ensuring equipment is ordered and delivered on time to activating services and leasing with third party suppliers.
By shadowing this team, you will learn how they help our Sales teams to enable the sale, whilst understanding and resolving pre live issues. You’ll also gain understanding on how we work with the Sales teams to provide and facilitate any missed opportunities.
Pre-Live (Retention Journey)
Experience how we nurture our new customer accounts by supporting their transition period from a previous supplier.
Understand the Quality Assurance process for each area of the business. Working with each QA advisor to understand the compliance and regulatory measures we mark against and what feedback is delivered to protect and enhance our customers experience.
Provisioning – Utilities
Understand how we onboard the customer for our utility products to make sure their bill is correct, meter reads are accurate and customer accounts are up to date. You’ll also gain an understanding of “in life” customer queries with complex technical issues and meter read investigations.
Sales (Cross Sell)
Work with our cross-sell agents who identify opportunities to sell additional products and services to our existing customers. They work with leads passed over from Customer Services, utilise data sources and follow up on web generate leads.
Investigations / COO's / Resigner
Understand how we process change of business ownership, identify vacant properties and proactively offer support to business owners who may find themselves in financial difficulty.
Collections & Debt Recovery
Assist in collecting unpaid invoices from existing and previous customers and learn how we negotiate with customers to agree payment options following a clear step-by-step process. Experience how we reclaim outstanding debts from accounts escalated from our Collections team.
Once the customer is nearing the end of their contract with us this team will proactively look to agree a new contract with them to reward their loyalty and ensure they are getting the best possible deal.
If a customer has already signed up with a new provider, we proactively offer another deal to encourage the customer to come back to us.
The Insurance Octopus (TIO)
Working alongside our colleagues in The Insurance Octopus, looking specifically at Commercial Insurance and the many different types of policies available to our commercial customers. Learn about how we generate new business, service and look after our customers, proactively work to renew policies nearing expiry and demands and needs analysis. You’ll also gain an understanding of the compliance and regulatory requirements that govern an insurance broker.
Understand how we are prepared for the nationwide ‘Full- Fibre’ roll-out that will connect millions of businesses to Openreach’s new network for their Broadband and voice services. Gain valuable insight of how we will support our new and existing customers migration journey and set us up for the future.
Experience how we nurture our new customer accounts by supporting their transition period from a previous supplier.
What’s in it for you
18 month business focused programme
37.5 hour week (no weekends)
Flexible working hours
Salary £24,000 (starting at £21,000 with phased increments as you progress through the programme)
Quarterly bonus (up to 10% based on performance)
25 days holidays (plus bank holidays)
Option to Buy and Sell Holidays
FREE On-site Gym
Cycle to work scheme
Your 18 month programme for success
Setting you up to succeed (6 Months)
Learn about who we are, our products and services and what makes us tick around here during your induction programme.
Then complete a strategic business rotation plan working alongside our Customer facing teams, gaining first-hand knowledge of how we attract, support and grow our customer base.
Starting to Specialise (12 months)
Once you’ve had the broader overview, you’ll begin your Business Placements and start specialising in one of our business areas. Working in up to 2 areas where you will gain exposure to the operational and strategic side of the business.
The teams include:
People – HR, Recruitment, Learning & Development
At the Verastar Group we have around 160,000 small businesses in the UK taking a variety of essential services from us through our different operating brands. It’s the marketing department’s responsibility to both grow the number of customers we have (as well as the services they take from us) and to manage Verastar’s corporate reputation.
During a marketing placement on our graduate scheme, you’ll be able to get stuck into pretty much every aspect of these two strategic aims. This will involve supporting (and delivering where applicable) product marketing strategies; digital marketing activities (covering PPC, e-shots, social advertising, content, SEO, and website optimisation); content management; marketing automation; market research; brand strategies; culture and reputation management (covering PR, blogs, social media, testimonials and awards).
In marketing you’ll be busy, but you’ll be supported by our marketing colleagues every step of the way.
Project Management identifies what change programmes are necessary for the delivery of the Company strategy and lead the business through these, ensuring appropriate budget is in place and resource from across the business is engaged to enable successful delivery.
On a placement in our team you will have the opportunity to;
- Receive in-house training on a range of Project Management tools
- Buddy up with an experienced Project Manager and support them with the delivery of a specific project
- Own and manage a live project, seeing as much of the lifecycle of the project as possible
- Own elements of a long-term strategic project
- Run meetings with stakeholders from across the business, to create momentum and ensure timely progress
- Create all the relevant documentation for your own project, sharing, updating and adapting it as things change and progress
- Be involved in both the set-up of a new project, and the completion and evaluation which occurs at the end of a project, to ensure you’ve seen the whole lifecycle
You’ll have exposure to all areas of the business through the stakeholder groups and gain invaluable project management skills which will benefit any chosen career path.
At the end of the placement, you’ll know that you’ve directly contributed to us achieving both our short-term goals and long-term strategy.
At the Verastar Group we have around 800 colleagues. HR make sure our colleagues have the tools for us to perform to our best and that there’s a plan in place for their development. In a nutshell they help us attract, develop and retain the best colleagues.
During a HR placement on our graduate scheme, you’ll be able to get stuck into pretty much every aspect of HR the employee life cycle. Some of this activity could be; Recruitment – maybe looking at how to attract next years’ Graduates; HR Services – looking at all the HR administrative processes, onboarding of colleagues and employee relations; Reward – examining salaries and benefits, Learning & Development – evaluating learning outcomes; Engagement –researching engagement tools / measurement and follow up activities.
In HR you’ll be busy, but you’ll be supported by our HR colleagues every step of the way.
At the end of your placement, you’ll get the opportunity to specialise in a specific role within your chosen team.
At Verastar, we strive for continuous growth in our financial performance. Annual revenue has doubled in 5 years to over £180m, being achieved through product diversity, growth in our customer base and through acquisitions. As well as being responsible for reporting performance to various internal and external stakeholders, the Finance team also provide insightful information to guide the strategic decisions of the business.
There are various aspects of Finance that you could contribute to during a Graduate placement with us. This might include being involved in our monthly reporting processes; helping the team with the Finance part of the customer journey; improving internal control and processes; analysing business performance; or helping to assess potential acquisition opportunities. These are just a few examples, but if you enjoy variety and are willing to get stuck in, there’s a lot to learn at Verastar!
Working with the Commercial team during your placement with us, you’ll contribute to the success by delivering initiatives that optimise commercial performance across all our products. Your day will consist of activities such as evaluating current performance, investigating portfolio movement, championing change and liaising with other areas of the business on future opportunities.
We work in a fast-paced environment that embraces change, which will provide you with great exposure to the business, offering the opportunity for you to use your own initiative and experience to directly contribute in driving customer and profitability growth at the Verastar Group.
Legal & Compliance
At the Verastar Group, there’s a huge range of legal work to do, including work on commercial contracts, reviewing marketing copy and employee/customer comms, property matters, data protection and litigation work.
In addition to the above, during a placement in the Legal team you’ll be reviewing a confidentiality agreement or a supplier contract one day, and another you could be responding to subject access requests, preparing witness statements for a court case or doing some legal research. Working as part of a close-knit team, you’ll also have the opportunity to help with some compliance work, such as investigating potential sales issues and giving feedback to the sales teams or helping with responses to consultation documents from our regulators.
You’ll have a challenging, varied workload with the help and support you need to grow.
At the Verastar Group we have around 160,000 customers. In Customer Service we strive to keep our Utilities and Communications customers happy, by delivering a brilliant experience in the resolution of queries and complaints.
During a Customer Service placement on our graduate scheme, you will collaborate and develop plans and initiatives for our customers and colleagues to deliver a brilliant customer experience from performance and insight from different sources working closely with the management team. For example;
- Utilising customer experience insight and feedback to proactively understand what drives a brilliant experience and what is driving Dissatisfaction
- Reviewing Internal Quality measures, with a focus on ownership and first call resolution
- Understanding the contributors to dissatisfaction and complaints
From your analysis you will propose recommendations under People, Policy and Process.
In Customer Service you’ll be busy, but you’ll be supported by our Customer Service Colleagues every step of the way.
Quality & Continuous Improvement
At the Verastar Group we have around 160,000 customers, in QA and CI we are the voice of the customer.
During your placement in Quality Assurance & Continuous Improvement you will directly support the business in many improvements, increase customer engagement, reducing customer contact and meeting external regulatory requirements. You’ll do this by improving technical ability of our colleagues through feedback and improving our processes and procedures where identified.
This will involve;
- Listening to calls using internal quality assurance processes
- Build relationships with colleagues / stakeholders to provide feedback and to understand impacts of changes
- Identify, analyse, scope and recommend operational changes
- Analyse costs and cost benefits to the company
- Communicate the benefits of changes across departments
- Produce written documentation
- Track benefits and evaluation of change
In our team you’ll be busy, but you’ll be supported by you Colleagues every step of the way.
At the Verastar Group we have around 160,000 customers. In Utility Ops we form the point of taking customer on to make sure the bill is correct, meter reads are accurate and the account is up to date.
During your placement you’ll have the opportunity to;
- Sit with the advisors to understand what they do; this could be looking at meter read investigations, metering data mismatches, supporting customer service with complex technical issues, checking bills with a significant spend
- Shadowing managers – to work on reporting, processes and efficiencies
- Gain an insight into the world of metering and settlements
- learning about the importance of how we purchase energy against what we bill to the customer
- How that fits into the commercial world and how that lands on the customer bill
- And all about smart metering and regulatory changes
You’ll also work on some key industry business projects which include;
- Smart Meters – Getting all customers onto smart meters over the next 4 years
- Faster switching – a 48 customer switching turn around over the next 12 months
The Insurance Octopus (TIO) are a commercial insurance broker who have grown exponentially over the last 12 years. We provide business insurance for SME’s which covers a wide range of product types from traditional public liability to cyber insurance which is becoming more and more important in todays’ business world.
During a TIO placement on our graduate scheme, you will have exposure and training in all areas of an insurance broker. From new business sales through web marketing, MI reporting, compliance, finance, retentions and customer service – you will have access to everything giving you a thorough understanding of what an insurance broker is. We work in a fast paced sales environment whilst strongly adhering to our regulated responsibilities and customer centric focus so there is plenty to learn and get stuck into.
We pride ourselves on continuous training and development of our colleagues, actively encouraging official qualifications which help kick start a successful and rewarding career in insurance broking.
The debt recoveries operation is responsible for the management of customer accounts at the advance stages of debt delinquency. The team will manage a customer debt through to disconnection of supply, 3rd party debt collection and formal litigation/enforcement.
This year is a very exciting year for the team as we embark on the following key projects.
- Creation of new team in the operation who will support our PDV (Pre disconnection visit) and Disconnection process
- Full review of 3rd party DCA (Debt collection agencies) and introduction of new partners.
- Revision of litigation and enforcement strategies
During your time within the team you will play a key part in support the delivery of these key projects and will further develop the following skills.
- Relationship management
- Project Management
- Stakeholder skills
- Financial Analysis
- Operational Process Design
In Debt Recovery you’ll be busy, but you’ll be supported by our Customer Service Colleagues every step of the way.
IT Software Development
At the Verastar Group, we have an exciting and interesting profile of internal Software that supports around 800 colleagues and 160,000 customers. The IT Software Development Team are responsible for the maintenance and development of these software platforms, ensuring our teams and customers have the best tools available to them. As part of the Business Analysis function in the team, you will have the opportunity to work closely with many business areas, in many exciting projects. Additionally, we are developing our Product Development function which the successful applicant will certainly be involved with.
During your placement with us, you will explore projects of strategic level as well as smaller continuous improvement business initiatives, building core business analysis skills such as requirements gathering, stakeholder engagement and product development. You will also be able to experience the end to end journey from design to delivery of many software platforms that support our business.
This placement will not be a quiet one but will be rewarding and you can have true impact on the future of Verastar.
Choose your future career:
Before the end of the business placements, we will work together to secure a permanent position in your chosen business area.
Projects: Throughout the 18-months you will have the opportunity to showcase your abilities by getting involved in up to 3 key projects. You will get the chance to work with senior stakeholders across the business and collaborate with your fellow Graduates, to add some real business value.
Supporting You Every Step Of The Way
People are our most important asset and we help you every step of the way on your journey to success. This includes;
- First day Welcome to Verastar induction
- Robust induction plan
- Regular catch ups with your manager
- Learning and Development, including Continuous Professional Development
- Support from a buddy to help you settle in and feel supported throughout the programme
What our graduates have to say
Elliott – 2020 Graduate
Now a Marketing Executive at Verastar
“The pace of the scheme was perfect for me. You feel like you’re learning and developing quickly but with support when you need it. Before you know it you’re out and working in your permanent role.”
Gemma – 2020 Graduate
Now a Pricing Analyst at Verastar
“I always felt I was learning lots of different things and it was never boring. There’s always something new to discover and new opportunities to take.”
What we’re looking for
We’re looking for someone with a positive go for it attitude, an open mind and a willingness to learn the business from the bottom up. You need to be a great problem solver adaptable, an effective communicator with a genuine passion to build lasting relationships with colleagues and customers to support the future growth of the business.
Beyond that, you’ll need:
• 2:1 degree in any discipline or 2:2 if you have a master’s degree or higher
• Eligibility to live and work permanently in the UK
Click here to view our Application Process
STAGE 1: Online application
First, you’ll apply online and upload your CV. This is your first chance to showcase your studies so far, capture your contact details and ensure the programme is right for you.
STAGE 2: Video interview
If you pass the online assessment, you’ll be invited to record a short video application. We’ll send you some questions to answer and what else you need to include in the video. We’re looking at your motivation for Verastar, why you want to be part of our programme and why you think you would be a good fit.
STAGE 3: Assessment event
You’ll be invited to our Dovecote offices for a face to face meeting with members of our team. This is your chance to get to know us abit better, show off your skills and demonstrate why you are the best person to join the programme.
Frequently Asked Questions
When is the best time to apply? Are there any opening or closing dates?
Office or home-based?
We operate a hybrid working model at Verastar, working 3 days in the office and 2 days from home. However, whilst on rotation for your first 6 months, you will be working across our customer facing teams who typically are based in the office 5 days per week. Once on your 6 month placements, you can discuss and agree with your line manager which days you will work from home and which days you will be in the office.