Morrisons targets school pupils in bid to promote retail careers


Morrisons will advertise careers available at the supermarket to school pupils for the first time to crush the myth that retail jobs are just about shelf-stacking, Personnel Today has learned.

Norman Pickavance, group HR director of Morrisons told the magazine the firm would send brochures to all secondary schools later this year in a bid to educate students about the training and career opportunities at the chain.

The move comes as the HR chief revealed the retailer’s focus on training and career progression over the past three years had already helped to halve staff turnover rates to 12-14% for all staff, and 4% for management.

Pickavance said the brochures were aimed at ensuring “it’s not just about people coming to work for us because they have to, but because they want to, and [they] are aware of the things that we offer”.

He said: “We have found there has not been any trouble in attracting young people, but what we are trying to do this year is to get more of our message across that it isn’t just a job, it’s a career.

“It’s important to attract people into the business who understand what we stand for and understand that there are career opportunities there if they decide that maybe going on to university isn’t what they want to do, and that they can join at 18 and come and work with us, and we can progress them just as far.”

Currently, 30% of Morrisons’ senior executives started their careers on the shop floor, while 95% of store managers were promoted internally.

The brochure will outline the training opportunities available at Morrisons – including NVQ level 2 qualifications, craft apprenticeships and management training – and how anyone joining the firm will be encouraged to “move from the shop floor to the top floor”.

Up to 40,000 of Morrisons’ staff are currently aged under 24 – more than a third of the total workforce.

Morrisons is due to release its annual results on Thursday (11 March), which are expected to reveal profits of up to £760m and include details of expansion plans for 2010.

Pickavance said the supermarket chain could look to open another 100 stores over the next three to five years, creating thousands of jobs.

He also revealed the company will launch a new senior leadership programme in the next two weeks following work with leadership guru Steve Tappin, and a coaching programme within the next two months. A trainee programme is set to launch later this year to fast-track people into the management training programme.

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