Employees are at the heart of every business, whatever industry you work in. Not only do you want to attract the best employees but you want to ensure that once they’re part of the team, they stay happy and motivated.

A workforce opinion survey from Hay Group Insight demonstrates that highly engaged employees can improve business performance by up to 30% and that fully engaged employees are 2.5 times more likely to exceed performance expectations than their ‘disengaged’ colleagues.

So you can never underestimate the importance of attracting, spotting and nurturing talent. The best corporate training, development and engagement programmes always ensure that adequate time and resource is given over to it.

Yes, there is a cost attached to talent management. Yes, employee development means time out of the office to attend training sessions, but when you want the best and you want to keep the best, it’s an investment.

That’s why, despite tough trading conditions and an emphasis on cost control, Wolseley UK is determined to carry on investing in its people.

We’ve just launched a new Management Training programme in order to attract the very best graduates to the construction industry, and ensure that the ones already working for us, who want to progress, have a chance to do so.

We’re looking for people who will roll up their sleeves, make decisions and use their initiative. In return, we’ll give them the experience they need to take on a management position within 12 months.

For more details and to apply, visit www.wolseleygraduates.com. Assessments take place in July and August 2013 and roles commence in October 2013.

We’re not alone in this - other firms in the industry also run successful graduate schemes and are helping to bring new talent into the construction industry.

And it’s vital we continue. By helping select and develop the next generation of employees, we’re investing in the future of our industry.

Karen Finn is HR director at Wolseley UK.