Shirrell Heath, Southampton, Hampshire, SO32 2JY

BT Graduate Development Scheme – Leadership Development


HPD were asked to design develop in partnership with BT and then deliver an inspiring and dynamic introduction to fundamental leadership and teamworking skills needed for the transition student life into the business world.  It needed to be a combination of relevant theory and challenging outdoor practical application to demonstrate key leadership and teamworking lessons that dovetail with BT’s Leadership Framework.

The programme also needed to address building effective working relationships, communication skills, health and wellbeing and making an impact to the right people for the right reasons.


The programme has been a great success and has been running every year since 2002.  Graduates go back to their working environment feeling inspired and with personal action plans to make a difference in the way they work. They return with more self confidence, a better understanding of their role within teams and equipped with the necessary skills and attributes to lead projects, communicate more effectively and motivate others. 


Ruari demonstrates everything that his organisation is all about – fun, enthusiastic, energetic and completely dedicated to helping people develop. Having seen first hand what he and HPD do in the realms of graduate development, and how unique his offering is (especially the sinking ship) i would recommend him to any organisation looking to invest in developing aspiring leaders.

David Linton Talent and Graduate Manager BT Open Reach

Having worked closely with High Performance Development over the last few years BT continues to rate them very highly for our graduate training programme. The graduates themselves rated the week 

“the best training I have ever undertaken” 
“the most fun I’ve had at work” 
“challenging and rewarding and brilliant fun” 
“I cannot fault the weather, trainers, venue & meal all great” 

Everything about HPD is professional – during the event itself the trainers constantly push and challenge the graduates – getting the best out of them and encouraging them to test themselves. There are several elements to the training week which the graduates wouldn’t usually have the chance to experience, but particularly the Royal Navy exercise is one of the best things I have ever witnessed. Graduates are challenged mentally and physically and are literally exhilarated by the experience. 

The trainers are happy to speak to any graduates who have concerns about the week or are worried about any aspects – and many graduates go on to take part in exercises they would normally have sat out. 

I personally have attended at least 4 weeks of the training programme over the past couple of years and are constantly impressed by the energy, drive and passion the trainers put into the week – the hours they work – starting at 7.30am and continuing throughout the day, culminating in the evening meal with the graduates every night – where they are always “on duty” 

I look forward to continuing an excellent working relationship with HPD over the coming years

Adele Wise – Apprentice & Graduate Development Manager at BT TSO

I was fortunate enough to meet Ruari and the excellent team at High Performance Development (HPD) through the graduate development programme at BT. The HPD experience is undoubtably the most enjoyable and valuable training I have undertaken. All organisations are fundamentally dependant on people working together, and with HPD I learnt a great deal about myself and how I interact with also those around me. The HPD training has provided me with a skill set which I utilise on a near daily basis and I firmly believe that any team or individual would benefit significantly from working with HPD.

Dan Winder – Technical Project Manager