Career Development

We believe that everyone should have access to development opportunities that are tailored to their unique needs, skills, goals and interests. At DS Smith we are committed to supporting all our employees throughout their career.


We do so by offering a range of opportunities, programmes and resources to help acquire new skills, build capability and look beyond the current role to meet your future aspirations. The DS Smith Learning development journey starts with an onboarding library of courses and activities to introduce the company's history, operations, purpose then leads to role-specific training offering a range of personal development, technical and qualifications aligned courses to help you excel and grow.  

These cover: 

  • Unboxing Your Development 
  • Leadership and management development  
  • Coaching and Mentoring  
  • Governance and Compliance 
  • Graduate Development Paths 
  • Learning academies: Sales, Marketing and Innovation; Operational Learning; Finance  

Our Learning Platform offers role specific development pathways, some affiliated to professional qualifications, over 20,000 areas of generic content across all aspects of personal and professional development available as courses, books, audios and incorporating study guides and bootcamps covering everything from first line manager development to an introduction to generative AI etc. We also work closely with a number of external providers including Oxford SAID Business School (part of the University of Oxford) and Included, a global inclusive leadership consultancy.

Aspire programme with Oxford University has been an amazing opportunity, focused on practical learning with like-minded people. It allowed me to develop better self-awareness and learn how to lead with vision and impact, accelerating my personal development.

Aja Janezic
Senior Digital and Content Manager, DS Smith

We believe that meaningful development conversations are essential, these will take place throughout the year and are also formalised bi-annually with a formal discussion with your manager to create a dynamic development plan. This plan will outline actionable steps which you are accountable for and align with your ambitions and your manager's expectations. 

Furthermore, we have a culture of collaboration and peer-to-peer support, including our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion networking groups to learn from and collaborate with others. These groups are open to anyone who is interested in shaping and contributing to our culture of diversity and inclusion. 

And you will gain confidence and perspectives by tapping into the knowledge of your coworkers, including some of the industry's brightest minds. 

We are committed to the development of our employees and are proud to have won the British HR Awards Manufacturing Company of the year which acknowledges our investment in providing opportunities in the technical, professional and personal development areas.

Ann-Louise Hancock
Group Head of Learning and Development