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Retail graduate schemes offer good pay and bright career prospects

This article is from TargetJobs News.

Sainsbury’s opened recruitment for its graduate programme for 2012 this week, unveiling a revamped graduate scheme with a generous £32,000 starting salary. This is significantly higher than the £24,000 average starting salary for the sector identified by the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) in its most recent survey of its members, published in June this year.

Graduates who are recruited onto Sainbury’s 2020 leaders programme will start with a four-month placement in a store over the Christmas period and will be given early responsibility as well as exposure to the business as a whole.

The growth in retail graduate recruitment

The AGR survey indicated significant growth in graduate recruitment in the retail sector over the 2010–2011 recruitment season, with employers estimating a staggering 76.6% increase in vacancies. The retail sector was the second largest career sector for graduate recruitment in terms of number of vacancies, second only to accountancy and professional services.

In July, Tesco announced that it was planning to increase its graduate recruitment by 30% this year, taking on a total of 440 graduates across 17 different schemes.

Judith Nelson, UK personnel director at Tesco, commented, ‘It’s a challenging time for graduates, but as other firms cut back on hiring, we remain committed to offering opportunities to talented young people.’ She added that Tesco chief executive Philip Clarke was originally taken on as a graduate trainee.

Waitrose announced expansion plans at the beginning of the year and said in January that it would open 39 new shops in 2011, creating 3,000 jobs, while Asda announced back in November 2010 that it would create 7,500 new jobs in 2011.

Candidates interested in this sector should be wary of making blanket applications and should aim to apply for fewer roles in a more focused way. According to the AGR survey, retail recruiters tend to receive a high volume of blanket applications, but in recent years they have also received an increasing number of stronger applications from more discerning candidates.

Find out more about graduate retail careers

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