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Loblaw Cos., Ltd. is scouring Canada for recent university graduates with an interest in food to enroll in the grocer’s grad@Loblaw program. The nationwide initiative invites people entering the job market to begin their careers in a structured and supportive environment.
Grad@Loblaw identifies and develops potential talent by providing practical, hands-on business experience and full-time employment. The company will hire 1,000 graduates over the next five years through the program.
“We believe that to be a great place to work, we must continually look for ways to inject new life into our organization, including recruiting people with fresh thinking and a can-do attitude,” noted Loblaw EVP, human resources Judy McCrie. “At Loblaw, our colleagues are our greatest strength, and the grad@Loblaw program is just one way that we are committed to attracting and retaining the best people to help ensure our long-term success.”
During the 18-month program, graduates rotate through three areas of the company, starting with six months working at a store location, the core of Loblaw’s business, where they’ll gain first-hand experience in retail operations and building leadership skills. Participants then spend three months in merchandising operations, learning how Loblaw stays competitive through buying, promotions and inventory management. The final rotation is a nine-month placement in the area for which the recruit was hired at the outset of the program, such as store management, marketing, merchandising, supply chain, information technology, human resources or finance, where they can apply the information and experience gleaned in the earlier rotations.
“Students benefit tremendously from the opportunity to take their educational background and apply it in a supportive, professional work environment where they gain real-world expertise,” noted Elizabeth Evans, director, Ted Rogers School of Retail Management at Ryerson University in Toronto. “Grad@Loblaw in particular gives graduates a 360-degree perspective of the company so they can gain experiences in many different areas, setting a strong foundation for future success.”
“One of the things I like most about the grad@Loblaw program is the chance to see all facets of the company ranging from supply chain to merchandising, which is helpful in understanding how key decisions affect different parts of the business,” said Jocelyn Bishop, a recent retail management graduate from Ryerson and currently a participant at the six-month mark of the program. “We’re also very lucky to get to work with people at all levels within the business who truly want to see you succeed.”
The program is open to post-secondary students who have graduated in the past 24 months. The next group of 100 participants will join the company in January 2010, and another 100 graduates will start in June 2010.
Loblaw will also hold campus information sessions at university locations across Canada this fall.
A subsidiary of George Weston, Ltd., Brampton, Ontario-based Loblaw has over 1,000 corporate and franchised stores across Canada, and, along with its franchisees, employs over 139,000 full-time and part-time associates.