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Perfect audit could power up new business

Office Depot has scored 100% in an audit which could switch us on to more opportunities in the utilities sector.

Inspectors from audit firm Achilles gave Office Depot a perfect score for all elements of safety, health, environment, quality and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) during a recent inspection of its management systems and operational processes in Leicester.

The results of the Office Depot audit will be published on an Achilles register which is used by customers in the utilities sector to find high performing partners.

The higher the audit score, the more chance an organisation has of being invited to tender for business.

Jacqueline Hills, Sr Director of Legal and Compliance, said: “The results of the audit are a fantastic endorsement of Office Depot and a testament to the incredible professionalism of our teams who work hard to ensure we meet the highest possible health, safety, welfare, quality, social and environmental standards.”

“This will strengthen our position and reputation with our existing utilities customers and potential new ones. Thank you and congratulations to everyone involved.”

The auditor said he was “very impressed” with the professionalism of staff and the cleanliness of the warehouse. He had never been in a warehouse that stored and distributed as much volume as the Leicester DC.

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Graduation day for our 'apprentices'

Forty-five colleagues in the UK have been celebrated for completing training and apprenticeships following a significant investment by Office Depot.

Colleagues gained qualifications in leadership, management, sales and customer services after completing courses funded by the company's contribution to the UK Government's Apprenticeship Levy.

The levy has enabled Office Depot to offer up a greater range of training programmes to colleagues - which would not normally be available using operational budgets.

An amazing opportunity to learn

Louise Shields, Bids and Tenders Manager, completed her Chartered Management Institute Level 5 qualification in management.

She said: "I thought I was too old to do an apprenticeship, which is how this programme is funded. But I was inspired by my manager to do it and I think it is a great opportunity.”

"The qualification has really made me think how to lead using recognised techniques and skills rather than just going on your gut. It certainly makes me think about how I lead.“

"I would definitely advocate taking up these opportunities to learn. You're never too old and we have to keep on learning and growing.”

"It was also great for cross-team working as I got to work with people from different functions and from different sites."

Louise said people need to be prepared to balance work, home life and study. She added: "You have to make the time and be realistic about how you can do the work. But the end result is that it will definitely enhance your career."

Robert Baldrey, country manager for the UK&I, said: "Congratulations to everyone who has achieved a qualification. It's fantastic to see the company using our levy contribution in this way and I hope other teams and individuals will use this as an opportunity for personal development."

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Business in the Community initiative

Business in the Community

Business in the Community, work with Ireland’s leading companies on addressing key educational issues and supports the Government’s overall strategy on educational inclusion. From tackling the retention rate in post primary schools to fostering a pipeline of talent - they work with hundreds of companies and schools all over Ireland to create mutually beneficial and lasting partnerships.

To date over 400 partnerships have been established nationally, impacting over 43,000 secondary school students nationwide.

After a successful ten year partnership with a school in Coolock, Office Depot started a new partnership, working with a school in their immediate community - Blakestown Community School in Dublin.

Blakestown students and staff visited Office Depot’s head office and took part in a series of activities to give them valuable insights into the world of work and practical skills to prepare them for the job’s market. Following a tour of the site students joined sales and HR staff in a series of ‘day in the life’ interviews and workshops on presentation skills and interview techniques.

This was followed up by six of the Irish Sales team who went to Blakestown Community School to run mock ‘interviews’ with the 20 students enrolled on the initiative. The school then held a ‘feedback session’ where the students presented what they’d learnt to Office Depot’s Head of Sales for Ireland, Paula Ronald, who presented each student with a certificate of achievement.

Commenting on the initiative, Paula Ronald said “Office Depot chooses to get involved with BITC to give something back to the local community, as part of our CSR policy.

11 years on, instead of being something we feel we ‘need’ to do, it is something we love to do. We have formed an excellent relationship with the Mercy College in Coolock and Blakestown Community School, and we have been truly inspired by both the teaching staff and the students of both schools.

For us as individuals, we have been able to pass on knowledge of the world of work, see our lives through the student’s eyes - but most of all have fun while doing it. Our commitment to the initiative continues as some of our team who were involved for the first time this year, have already volunteered for next year’s programme”.

For more information on BITC visit them at

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