University and college grads today are enter possibly the toughest labour market in generations, but smart companies also realize that it’s a good time to stock up on talented young employees.
With unemployment rates for young adults hitting 16.4 per cent this past summer, Loblaw Companies Limited launched its grad@Loblaw program to recruit some of the best and brightest coming out of Canadian universities and colleges.
“We’re taking a long-term approach to investing in talent and developing skills and abilities across colleagues,” said Nan Oldroyd, Loblaw senior director of recruitment and diversity.
Over the next five years, Loblaw Companies Limited will be hiring 1,000 recent grads through the company’s program.
Once selected for the 18-month training program, the grads immediately receive full-time salary and benefits while they prepare for careers in store management, IT, marketing, merchandising or finance.
The first six months of the program is spent training in various departments inside one of the stores.
“I went through the grocery department. I did the grocery night crew, which is its own sort of animal. It’s different from grocery days,” said recent University of Ottawa grad Brian Partridge, who is currently in the first phase of the program at a store in Ottawa.
After the first phase, graduates spend three months learning about the company’s purchasing, promotions and inventory management. The final nine months are spent apprenticing in the position that they were hired to do, with the knowledge and experience from the previous rotations to help guide them.
After just five months learning at the store, Mark Dolan is already filling in as assistant store manager at a Superstore in Halifax.
Dolan graduated with a commerce degree in marketing but with years of warehouse experience, he’s entered into the supply chain stream of the program.
Dolan said he was drawn to the programs for the career potential the support that a nation-wide company could offer.
“They spend time to help you learn everything that you need to go further,” he said. “A couple of the other opportunities I had were just to start a job straight away at the bottom line. This had more room for growth and more room to learn.”
Another bonus was the chance to work close to home but still be with a company that has a lot of room for career growth.
Apply online at loblawgrad.ca by Friday, Oct. 9, 2009.