Wolseley UK

Wolseley UK 2024 graduate opportunities}

Company Company Profile

Wolseley UK’s Management Training programme is a great opportunity for enthusiastic graduates to progress quickly within one of the largest distributors of construction products in the world.

With 950 branches nationwide and 6,500 employees, Wolseley UK is a leading distributor of plumbing and heating products and a major supplier of construction materials to the trade in the UK.

Our structured 18-month programme is designed to grow Wolseley UK’s next generation of managers by giving graduates the practical hands-on experience they need to take on a management position within 12 months.

From day one, you’ll be an important member of the team dealing with real customers and everyday situations in our busy branches. You’ll spend more time in boots and a hi-vis jacket than you will in a business suit – learning how we do business at our trade counters. Together with classroom training, assignments and support from the business, the programme will equip you with the personal and professional skills to succeed at Wolseley UK.

Case Studies

  • Name: Christian Darby
  • Role: Local Network Manager, Plumb and Parts Center
  • Degree: Sports Science

How did you come to join Wolseley UK?
I studied Sports Science at University but I knew that wasn't the career for me. Soon after I graduated, I was playing in a football team with a Wolseley UK Area Manager. He raved about the company and told me they were hiring so I went for the job and was taken on as a Trainee Manager at Telford.

How has your career progressed since?
At Telford, I learnt about everything from the warehouse, trade counter and sales. And after 11 months, I got the job of Branch Supervisor in Walsall. A year on, I got the Deputy Branch Manager's job at Birmingham Parts Center and the year after that I was promoted to Branch Manager. Next, I was a Cell Manager (responsible for a group of branches), then Network Manager in a number of locations, most recently Wolverhampton where I've been for the last 18 months.

How has Wolseley UK supported your development?
Consistent on-the-job training and in-house training courses have helped to hone my management skills. I've also had lots of support from line managers who've always encouraged me to think about what I want from my career, and helped me plan ahead to make it happen.

What's the biggest challenge you've faced?
As a Network Manager, my most challenging project involved introducing a new product range. We had to have the right stock in the right place at the right time for our customers. It involved getting the correct stock ordered and a mass cleanse of existing stock. This was all during the winter – our busiest time of year – with limited resource and while continuing with our business as usual so that customers didn't experience any problems or delays.

What's the most rewarding aspect of your job?
For me, seeing people develop who report into me is the main reward. I've brought a lot of employees into the business and it's great to see them do well. For example, I employed a guy straight from school who now manages one of the biggest branches in the country.

  • Name: Hayley Steabler
  • Role: Branch Manager, Plumb and Parts Center

What attracted you to Wolseley UK?
My degree was in politics but I'd been looking into applying for graduate schemes in business. I hadn't fixed on a particular company but knew I wanted to join an interesting and successful organisation – somewhere that could offer a role that was both challenging and a little bit different.

How did you become a Manager?
I first joined Wolseley UK via the graduate trainee programme eight years ago. Initially this involved working in the warehouse, followed by learning all the branch functions. This, in turn, enabled me to assist branch managers or stand in for them when they were off sick or on holiday. I now successfully manage my own branch, which I have been doing since 2008.

What kind of training have you had?
I've had lots of training. It was monthly whilst I was on the graduate programme, and I've achieved a Diploma in Management Studies. Now I'm Branch Manager it gets more advanced. Already, I've had the opportunity to work my way up with Wolseley UK and over the next five years I hope to move on to even bigger and better things.

What's the best thing about your job?
The best thing is definitely the customers…talking to them, establishing and building relationships with them. Some of them I see every day. It feels good when we hit our targets too. This year we've really smashed it… it's the best year we've ever had. It's great to see all the hard work paying off.

What's the atmosphere like in your branch?
I've worked in banking and other areas of retail and much prefer the atmosphere here. I never liked working in an office, and as long as you put in the work in here, it's a far less structured and more relaxed place to be. I'm surrounded by a strong team of experienced people who take things in their stride. And even when they're under pressure, find time to have a laugh.

Training & Profiles

At Wolseley UK, we're big on talent management and succession planning. As proven by our 2013 Personnel Today Award for Talent Management. Whether you're fresh out of school, looking for a new challenge or nearing retirement, we'll ensure that you're always learning something new.

Twice yearly reviews play an important part in that. But so do the regular, informal conversations managers have with each individual to help them set new goals and take full advantage of the various learning opportunities on offer. These include:

Mandatory Online Health & Safety Training – with refresher courses for all employees every two years

Other Health & Safety Training – including Forklift, Banksman and VNA (very narrow aisles) training

Online Training Academy – our one-stop-shop for IT Training, Health & Safety, Product Knowledge, Legal, Business Support and Business Improvement

The Management Academy – with courses focused on specific Wolseley UK initiatives and general management skills

Apprenticeship Programme – designed specifically for those with the potential to become our branch managers of the future

First Line Management Programme – a three-day programme for those who've started or are looking to move into their first management role

Leadership Development Programmes – focused on our UK business, as well as our European and International operations

Our commitment to attracting the best talent from a range of backgrounds also includes actively supporting the British Forces Resettlement Services and working in partnership with Placeability providing placements for individuals with a disability or complex barriers to work.


What we stand for
Commercial success is obviously high on our agenda. But the truth is, we believe it's just as important to do things in a way that makes Wolseley UK a great place to work and a fantastic organisation to do business with. Our RESPECT values underpin that belief – you'll hear about them a lot if you come and work here.

Results – we deliver on our commitments with fairness, honesty and integrity

Empowered – we trust each other to get the job done

Standards – we work safely and don't cut corners

Pace – we move quickly and are open to new ways of working

Excellence – we strive to be the best and are proud of our company

Customers – we put customers at the heart of all we do

Teamwork – we support each other and are open and honest