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Perthshire Chamber of Commerce

Trade Body Backing for Graduate Trainee Programme

GRAHAM Pest Control is looking to the future with a ground-breaking Business Graduate Trainee Programme.  

The initiative has been warmly welcomed by a national trade body.

Jamie Graham is the first trainee and the third generation of the family to be involved in Scotland’s largest pest control company. 

He recently graduated with a First- Class honours' degree in Business Management from Dundee’s Abertay University.  

The Blairgowrie-based firm’s three-year initiative enjoys the support of The British Pest Control Association (BPCA) and training provider Killgerm Chemicals, with financial models delivered by accountants to ensure the delivery of business-specific financial training. 

Ian Andrew, BPCA chief executive, said: “The pest management sector has much to offer those seeking a varied and challenging career. 

“There's always something to learn, whether it's pest behaviour and biology or new products and treatment methods. 

“It's fantastic to see members invest in schemes that bring passionate and bright people into the sector.  

“They'll be integral in developing the next generation of thought-leaders and innovators as the industry has to adapt to changes in pest activity and new technologies.” 

A past Perthshire Chamber of Commerce president, Jamie’s father Ross believes the industry must adapt. 

“The typical age of a pest controller is in their forties. They usually come into the role from other industries,” said Ross, who joined father and founder Jimmy in the company after a career in the Royal Navy.   

“I don’t think anyone leaves school or heads for university dreaming of a career in pest control. But hopefully this training programme will provide a starting point to attract more graduates into our industry.  

“Thousands of students have graduated from colleges and universities across the country this summer and job opportunities are severely restricted by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.  

“Jamie’s original plan had been to travel the world and gain experience in an alternative industry with a view to potentially joining the family business a few years down the line. 

“He did have options but we realised he ticked so many boxes for us, and having been brought up surrounded by pest control stories around the dining room table, he was keen to get involved when the opportunity arose. 

“It was a decision made on a business-needs basis and with the support of my mother Anna, along with my brother and fellow director Stuart, we felt the timing was right. 

“The business education Jamie will get over the next few years, particularly during these extremely challenging times, will stand him in good stead in the future. 

“The recent death of our father and company founder Jim had also brought succession planning into focus.   

“Jamie has gained some experience with us during the last four summer holidays, dealing with a wide range of pest control problems, but the detailed Business Graduate training plan, drawn up with the help of our professional partners, will introduce him to all aspects of the business, ranging from pest control, sales, problem solving, communication, HR, finance and admin roles.  

“Hopefully this will provide a blueprint for the wider industry and many other graduates will be following in his footsteps.”

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