Josh Armitt is a BSc (Hons) Human Resource Management (now BSc (Hons) Business with Human Resource Management) graduate who now works as a Talent & Learning Business Partner at the FTSE 250 global consumer goods business, PZ Cussons. We caught up with Josh to find out how his time at the University of Salford helped develop and shape his career.

Josh Armitt Presenting
Josh Armitt presenting

The Best Bits

As clichéd as it sounds, my highlight was meeting the people that I did. I still have incredible friendships with a lot of people I met during my time at Salford University, long after graduating. It’s also been great to see said individuals develop and grow in their careers (and as people!).

On the academic side of things, cross-qualifying with the CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) and having lifelong accreditation with the CIPD has proved invaluable; I personally use the CIPD’s resources daily and have a great network of HR professionals right across the different specialisms within HR which I’ve met at CIPD, and other HR-related events.

Extracurricular Activities

In my first year, I joined the Business Society, the Rugby Union Society and Salford Snow – a skiing and snowboarding society (something I had always wanted to do but hadn’t had the opportunity before university!)

In second and third year, Salford Snow remained a huge part of my life and experience at university and had the opportunity to sit on the clubs’ committee for both years – Social Secretary in second year and Social Secretary / Wellbeing Officer in my third year.

Life After Salford

Given my degree at Salford University was in Human Resource Management (HRM,) it’s probably no surprise that I work in HR!

I’ve worked in several HR roles in what is relatively a short space of time since leaving university: Talent Acquisition, Generalist HR, HR Systems, HR Transformation and, in my current role, Talent & Learning Development.

My current role has two “lenses” – Talent, which is all about how to attract, identify, develop, engage, retain, and deploy our people within the organisation, and Learning, which focuses on shaping a strategy that drives skill development and growth opportunities for our people, and identifies (and plugs,) any capability “gaps.”

As a business partner, it’s also my job to really understand the organisation’s strategy and future capability needs and then work with our HR Business Partners and Leadership Teams, to help the business achieve this, through the execution of a talent & learning strategy. It’s a complex role with lots of moving parts – my remit in the talent & learning space spans four different business units, in two different regions (UK & USA).

I’m also now the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) lead for the UK/USA, where I work with the DE&I Community, our HR and Leadership Teams and the business, to create and imbed a strategy that ensures all of our people feel a deep-rooted sense of belonging at PZ; regardless of ethnicity, gender/gender identity, age, sexual orientation, religion, disability and every other possible characteristic (or intersectionality of characteristics) which makes people unique and special.

Lastly, I chair our internal engagement team, “Proudly PZ,” who are a team of “change champions” from every function within the business, with the aim of shaping a better work life for our people. We do this through health & wellbeing, charity, social and ‘fun’ initiatives; think everything from celebrating Black History Month to bringing our people together at Strategy Days and our Summer/Christmas parties!  

Final Thoughts

I would absolutely recommend Salford to potential students. The tutors and professors that teach this course are all extremely knowledgeable and have a great mix of industry experience, which allows them to translate theory into practical examples and case studies.

Moreover, the more I’ve developed in my career, the more I’ve grown to truly appreciate the diverse syllabus of things we learned during my time at University – I remember sitting in things like “Introduction to Finance” thinking, “Why am I learning about this? I don’t want to be an Accountant.” – As a now budget owner, those early finance foundations have proved to be invaluable!

As an additional bonus, the Human Resource Management course is great because you cross qualify with your CIPD, so you don’t have to study these qualifications later on down the line; which, when you’re as busy in your day job as I am, is an absolute blessing!

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