Case Study

Wood Mackenzie

Utilising the Apprenticeship Levy to Exceed Revenue Growth Targets

Learn how renowned global energy research and consultancy firm Wood Mackenzie enhanced their revenue and sales performance metrics through Pareto’s support.

Established in 1923 as an Edinburgh-based stockbroker, Wood Mackenzie is a multinational insights and research firm with a strong focus on renewables, energy, and natural resources since 1973. They provide analytics to support the green revolution, guiding the transition towards sustainability in various sectors, and their research informs global governments and assists organizations in metals, mining, chemicals, and power to stay competitive and adapt to trends.


  • An experienced sales team required support to hit their targets
  • Organisation struggled to fully utilise apprenticeship levy funds
  • A lack of junior sales talent


  • Through training and coaching in sales enablement, revenue growth exceeded targets
  • Provision of Level 4 Sales Executive Apprenticeship, helping to drive growth and plug skills gaps within the business
  • 17 graduates were successfully placed with the organisation across their UK and US sites, following Pareto’s training and recruitment initiatives
  • 6 candidates that have been placed have already gone on to secure promotions with Wood Mackenzie

From Hiring for Experience to the Sales Executive Apprenticeship

Wood Mackenzie began their relationship with Pareto in 2021, coming to us with the desire to begin fully utilising their apprenticeship levy funds to begin drawing in new talent. With a team of over 2000 employees spread across 30 locations worldwide at the time, they had plenty of experience to rely upon—but, having hired for experience for almost 50 years, they needed some assistance in acquiring fresh talent for a range of roles, from account management to sales, marketing, research, and data. 

Like many firms, the organisation had not been aware of the range of apprenticeship options available that focused on sales skills, such as the Sales Executive Apprenticeship at Level 4, a course which covers the very fundamentals through to the advanced skills which result in sales—and customer service—excellence.

Like many organisations with the age and prestige of Wood Mackenzie, business leaders found that whilst their experienced sellers had the time-served competencies and ability to generate new business, there were areas of underperformance, namely the management of their extensive client base. With their sights set on continued, sustainable growth, customer retention was a primary commercial driver for the firm, and a desire to find people with strong academic backgrounds and the right ambition and enthusiasm to articulate and present themselves—and Wood Mackenzie—in the best light. 

The Vice President of Human Resources, Simon Borisewitz, noted that he wanted to tap into a pool of driven, smart individuals, who possessed the ability to learn quickly. Alongside this, the organisation was keen to contribute towards efforts to diversify the often traditional energy industry, an initiative they’d always aimed towards with their global employee base. 

Given that the runway for growth in graduate sales jobs and research alike are unmatched by the potential represented by apprentices, Pareto had just the answer they were searching for.

The Solution

Through their broad base of graduate and apprenticeship-level talent, Pareto was able to provide a recruitment and training solution that complemented their existing hiring philosophy. 

"All the leaders... who have got involved in the apprenticeship programme have been really proud to be a part of it... Nobody at a senior level really would be where they are today if somewhere, somehow, someone had not seen raw talent in them and given them an opportunity to progress and be successful."

Candidates were supported through every step of the process and had a clear example of what good looked like, helping them to implement scheduling and diary-keeping activities which gave them time to dedicate to their studies, whilst still enabling them to be successful in completing the day-to-day duties of their roles. 

  • We provided 17 graduate candidates 
    • They were interviewed for attitude instead of expertise in the energy or materials industries. This allowed them to bring in talent who had studied in completely different fields and were ready to kick-start their career with a global name in market and risk analytics, supported at all times by Pareto's experts in learning and development. 
  • All graduates went through the Level 4 Sales Executive Apprenticeship
    • This gave them a solid grounding in time management, sales planning and preparation, and scheduling, ensuring they could build a value-added proposition for existing customers and prospects alike. 
  • They received training to develop negotiation, objection handling, and account development
    • This enabled them to possess a comprehensive set of skills that are vital to career success.

From Sales Executive Apprenticeship to Realising their Expert Potential

All graduates from the first intake have gone on to receive promotions within the firm, enabling them to continue to support the business needs of their clients and internal stakeholders. 

The Sales Executive Apprenticeship has enabled them to lay the foundation for achieving their future goals and supporting the organisation to exceed their revenue targets, with robust progression pathways in place to ensure that the risk of attrition is minimised. 

This acts as a strong employee value proposition for Wood Mackenzie, with candidates at all levels—from fresh graduates to time-served executives with a wealth of experience—admiring the company for their commitment to skills development and career mobility. 

With strong retention statistics, our relationship with Wood Mackenzie continues to be an impactful means of attracting and retaining a diverse pool of ambitious talent.

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