Kingfisher UK & Ireland CEO Euan Sutherland has today unveiled a new fast track graduate training programme to be run by the retail group.
Successful trainees will learn retail and management skills at Kingfisher’s home improvements business B&Q over a two to three-year period before being appointed to a store manager position at the end of the course.
Sutherland used B&Q’s MPs reception at the House of Parliament today to explain the scheme which he hopes will help many of the talented graduates currently looking for employment opportunities.
In the first year 20 university leavers will be offered places on the programme, with more spaces likely to be available in subsequent years, and each will start on a salary of £25,000 with the potential to increase this by between 20-40 per cent by the end of the course.
“Here at B&Q people are at the heart of what we do and so we are looking for young talent with bags of enthusiasm and a great attitude to work in our team,” Sutherland commented.
“Competition in the graduates’ jobs market is fierce but successful candidates will be offered a fantastic fast track learning experience which will see them running their own store in two to three years.
“We’re continuing to invest in youth talent and improving the skills of young people in a number of different ways including our first ever Youth Board, our Job Done! Schools programme, plus a number of new initiatives which will be launching from next year.”
During the course trainees will receive learning and training opportunities including group development, personal profiling, workshops and on-the-job learning activities, whilst they will also be assigned a mentor within the company and one-to-one coaching from a qualified coach.
Youth unemployment is rising fast in the UK at present and this week the government is expected to reveal some of the lowest overall national employment figures for nearly two decades, so any new private sector opportunities will be welcomed by many.
Skills Minister John Hayes added: “Investing in a highly skilled workforce - whether through a reformed, more progressive higher education system or an expanded and improved apprenticeships programme - is essential for economic growth and social progress.
“Programmes such as this are an excellent way of giving new graduates a step-up to a promising career.”