Recruiting for Retail Careers
Bernice Hurst, Contributing Editor, RetailWire
would be easy to churn out relevant clichés — you have to speculate to
accumulate, should invest in people, put your money where your mouth is
— to select just a few. But where education, experience and skills are
concerned, retailers are recognizing a need for vocational and academic
qualifications to co-exist and support one another.
of the UK’s biggest grocers, Sainsbury’s and Asda, have recently announced
new "landmark schemes to train apprentices and sell the food retail industry
as a career choice," according to London’s The Times. The
Sainsbury’s initiative includes opening Britain’s first bakery college,
intended to accelerate and standardize the training for its 412 in-store
his announcement, Sainsbury’s Chief Executive, Justin King, told the The
Times that he doesn’t think government gives enough attention
to the food industry’s training needs. "There’s been a view," he said,
"and it’s almost our fault for allowing it to exist. that food manufacturing
and food science jobs are inferior to heavy industry and engineering. Food
manufacturing is a massive contributor to wealth."
approach is to "offer 15,000 work experience places to 14- to 16-year-olds
and a further 15,000 apprenticeships to existing staff."
whose executives have repeatedly bemoaned poor standards of education and
attitude problems amongst young people, uses its recruitment website to
explain that "as part of Every Little Helps, our commitment to our people
is that we will give them the opportunity to get on so that they are able
to get the training they need to do their job and to develop their careers
retailers need to be cautious, however, is in designing their own qualifications.
A new accreditation for work experience from McDonald’s, reported in The
Daily Telegraph, has drawn criticism, partly based on whether or not
other organizations will find it acceptable and transferable. This should
not present a problem for those who attend Sainsbury’s baking college and
emerge with a skill that can clearly accompany them to a new employer should
they decide to move at some point in the future.
Questions: What can retailers do to convince young people that food
retailing is a great career choice? Should U.S. retailers likewise
take more proactive approaches in establishing apprenticeships or schools?
What recruiting programs work best in the U.S. for retail?
commentary] From the time I went to college in the U.S. right through
working with schools as parent, governor and consultant in England, I have been
a vehement advocate of education business partnerships. Rather than complaining
that schools are not producing sufficiently qualified or motivated staff,
businesses can (and should) work with them to ensure that young people
not only learn to think for themselves but also understand the ways in
which their education can lead to fulfilling and rewarding careers. It
would be lovely to think that that is where programs such as these will
manufacturing, the future is food, says Sainsbury’s boss – The
graduate recruitment site – Sainsbury’s
recruitment site – Tesco
graduates site – Tesco
in work experience at McDonald’s – The Daily Telegraph