Research on Sainsbury's Youthcan Programme

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  • Topic: 360-degree feedback, Management, Store manager
  • Pages : 6 (2240 words )
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  • Published : March 4, 2013
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Sainsbury’s today launches ‘Youth Can’ – a campaign to promote careers in retail to young people and tackle the “retail career snobbery” which blinkers them from the true rewards of a career in one of Britain’s biggest employment sectors. 'Youth Can' is an idea which was put forward by Sainsbury's younger colleagues. Last November the company's National Youth Forum (15 young colleagues who represent the over 40,0000 colleagues under the age of 25 employed by Sainsbury's) spent a day with senior executives including Justin King, CEO, Gwyn Burr, Customer Service and Colleague Director, and Roger Burnley, Retail Director. They told of their frustration with the stigma of working in retail - especially supermarket retail - and highlighted the misconceptions around lack of intellectual challenge, low professionalism and poor rewards, as well as the issues they often face in justifying their career choice with family and friends. As a result 'Youth Can' was created. It will see hundreds of younger Sainsbury's colleagues take their personal experiences out into the community, to talk directly to young people about the huge range of careers available in retail. Gwyn Burr, Sainsbury's Customer Service and Colleague Director, said: "The stories we heard were a real eye opener. They were incredibly passionate and positive about working in retail. Some are working part time to help pay their way through uni or college, and now see Sainsbury's as a place to stay and build a career. Others joined straight from school and have progressed to department or store management - often before their friends have even taken the first step onto the career ladder. But all talked of how "retail career snobbery" blinkers friends and family from the true picture. "We agreed that this is something that needs to be tackled - and can think of no better way to do it than by getting them to take their stories out to the people who need to hear them most - young people who are facing one of the most challenging employment markets for some time. "Despite the economic doom and gloom, and the talking down of supermarket jobs, we want people to see we offer a successful, fast-paced, team environment where you can make a real difference to customers' lives every day. We're a growing business, and can offer people the chance to grow with us. Sainsbury's is a place where you're able to progress and try lots of new things. It's incredibly meritocratic - and if you put in the hard yards the results get noticed. The variety and potential for career progression is pretty much unrivalled. So you may start as a cashier or merchandising shelves, but relatively quickly you can progress to run your own department - such as fresh foods, the in-store bakery or TU clothing - or even a store or area." 'Youth Can' is being launched today, with over 150 Sainsbury's Diversity Champions who will partner with young people in Sainsbury's Youth Forums up and down the country, equipping them to go into schools to talk to 14-18 year olds. Schools are being signed up from today with more information available from YouthCan@sainsburys.co.uk. Amongst the stories which the Youth Can campaign highlights are * Store Manager Adil Majid, Age 26 (pictured): Adil started working in retail at 16 he joined Sainsbury's at 19 and was part of the "you can be a store manager by 22". He rapidly progressed and at 26 he is now one of our youngest store managers and responsible for a 38,000 sq ft store with responsibility for a turnover of over 400k a week and a team of 160 colleagues. "When I first told my parents I was going to work at Sainsbury's they were far from impressed. And were worried that he would not get financial rewards working in Retail especially as he would not be graduating from university. And as for my mates, they just laughed when I told them what I wanted to be. Until I showed them my boss's car. They don't laugh any more!" * Lucy Kilshaw, Community Affairs Assistant, Age 21:...
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