Vanilla are committed to developing new talent for a sustainable future.

Vanilla recently recruited four new starters to our new graduate training programme.

As Head of Technology, Mike Hollifield explained: “We are constantly active in the recruitment market and we have an idea what talent pipeline there is – but we wanted to do something a bit different and to bring people in who we could train in the Vanilla way.

“We worked with to find suitable candidates and took them through graduate assessment days at our offices in Brigg. Their training programmes will last for 12 months and there are different programmes for our new developers and consultants.

“We’re delighted with the four we’ve recruited – Lewis Moore and George Armstrong are our new graduate consultants, and Boluwarin ‘Bee’ Adedoyin and Ian Hannaford are our new graduate developers.”

Mike is overseeing the development of the graduate developers, while Vanilla’s Head of Consulting Paul Darwin is responsible for the graduate consultants. Each has also been given a named mentor to help with training and support them on their journey.

Mike added: “There’s no doubt our new graduate scheme has been a success and we’ve found four stars for the future – and we’ll be running our graduate programme again this year.”


Meet our new graduates:

Lewis Moore, 23, from Stoke-on-Trent, is a graduate consultant. After six months of his 12-month training, he’ll select which area of IFS he’d like to specialise in and become a fully qualified consultant.

Lewis studied a degree in sports and exercise science at the University of Derby and then a masters in performance analysis, which was technology-focused.

He’s very keen to work in the supply chain area of IFS, an area in which his mentor Kieran Garry works in.

He is continuing to develop his IFS skills – partly through regular team meetings when any IFS developments or news is shared. He also has access to a range of IFS courses and programmes. Part of his training involved attending sessions at IFS’s base in Staines.

“I’m enjoying my new role, the work is challenging and the Vanilla workforce is very supportive. Hard work is noticed and rewarded and there is so much scope for development and growth,” said Lewis.

He sees himself as working as a consultant for many years to come.

George Armstrong, 21, from Nottinghamshire, is also a graduate consultant. He completed a business studies degree at the University of Lincoln before starting his career at Vanilla last September (2019).

“I saw the graduate programme advertised online and thought it suited my skill-set,” said George.

He has spent the last few months training before starting his first project, which is with a Paris-based company.

“I’ve enjoyed my training, particularly working with my mentor Tim Hughes, and I’m now looking forward to working on my first project,” George added.

“It’s been hard graft, but the Vanilla team has been fully supportive and I’m thoroughly enjoying myself. Although I didn’t study an IT degree, I’ve found there have been skills that I used at university that have been transferrable, and there’s no doubt that IT is going to play an increasingly important role in the future of every business, so there’s a clear link between my degree and what I’m doing now.”

Like Lewis, George is seriously thinking about specialising in the supply chain area of IFS but is also exploring other areas as part of his training.

As part of the graduate training programme, graduates spend time in each of Vanilla’s centres – and George particularly enjoyed his time at the Newcastle Support Centre.

Boluwarin ‘Bee’ Adedoyin, 25, is a graduate developer who completed a computing degree at Dundee’s Abertay University before a friend showed him the ad for Vanilla’s grad programme. After successfully applying for one of the four roles, Bee moved to Brigg and is enjoying his training.

“I passed my three-month probationary period and am enjoying my ongoing training,” explained Bee, who is originally from Nigeria.

“My mentor Neil Carter and other members of the Vanilla team have been very helpful. Most of my training is IFS based, but we’re also looking at other software too, including PL/SQL and Microsoft Azure. I’d done a bit of PL/SQL before, but nothing like in this detail.

“There is a lot to get through, in terms of workload, and we’re given personal projects to look at too, which means there is never a time when you’re idle.

“The culture at Vanilla is chilled and helpful and the Christmas party was a great opportunity to meet people from across the company.”

Vanilla’s fourth graduate is Ian Hannaford, 25, from Scunthorpe. He studied a cyber-security degree at De Montfort University in Leicester before joining the company as a graduate developer. He’d seen the opportunity on Linked-In and is now based full-time at Brigg.

His knowledge and experience gained at university have enabled him to strengthen further Vanilla’s online security.

“There were other transferable skills from my degree that have also helped me as a graduate developer,” said Ian.

He’s enjoying working with IFS, although his training has been across a wide IT spectrum. That has included working with Fortinet and PL/SQL.

“I’ve particularly enjoyed the networking side of things and recently went to Newcastle with Mike Hollifield to improve connectivity at our Tyneside office,” he explained.

“I’ve found everyone at Vanilla friendly, supportive and knowledgeable, especially my mentors Andrew Nicholls and Neil Carter,” he added.


If you are graduating in 2020 and would like to discuss a career at Vanilla, please get in touch.