Coloplast shows how good staff development can work

A WAREHOUSE operative has become a qualified IT expert after a career switch encouraged by the human resources department at Peterborough-based medical devices firm Coloplast.

Rob-WildashThe career progression of Rob Wildash (left) is a perfect example of the Coloplast ethos for staff development.

In May 2010, at the age of 19, Rob started work with the company in the distribution centre based at Orton. The job was varied and included some IT tasks. It was whilst undertaking these tasks that Rob realised there were ways in which the systems could be improved and made more accurate.

Rob discussed his thoughts with his line manager and changes were implemented. At his next regular personal development meeting Rob, who enjoyed working with computers at school, expressed an interest in developing his skills more with IT systems.

This request was quickly picked up by the human resources team at Coloplast and Rob was offered a six-month secondment working with the IT team, with Craig Hitchcock as his mentor. This has led to a full time role in IT support, with a career plan in place to support Rob as he works towards learning more about specific hardware and systems used by Coloplast.

Human resources director Sam Sedwill said: “It was apparent that Rob has skills and an interest in IT. Initially we were delighted to be able to offer him the secondment to enable him to decide if this route was for him. It was, and since moving fully into the IT department he has completed an Advanced Apprenticeship qualification and his skills have been developed enormously. He is enthusiastic to learn more. It is this attitude which has helped him to develop so quickly and encouraged us to support him.”

Rob added: “I cannot express how much Coloplast have helped me with my career development. I have been so lucky to have landed in my perfect company so early on in my career – the company really has been brilliant!

“The support offered by Clare Kelly, the IT manager, Craig, my mentor, Sam and her team has been immense and I very much appreciate it. I have been able to undertake and pass a formal qualification and I have shadowed others within the IT team to see what they do.”

Sam commented: “This opportunity has proved to be doubly successful as it has also enabled Rob’s mentor, Craig, to develop his own leadership skills by undertaking a mentoring course.”

Outside of work, Rob is a season ticket holder for West Ham football club and he enjoys, as he says: “geeky stuff and design using my own computer!”

Coloplast is recognised in the Sunday Times Top 100 Best Companies to Work For, has won awards for people development, cares for its customers and genuinely recognises and rewards success. In fact, Rob’s story recently featured in this year’s Sunday Times supplement which listed Coloplast as one of the Top 100 Best Companies to Work For. For details of job opportunities at Coloplast, visit