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B&Q owner Kingfisher widens international graduate scheme to include IT specialists

DIY group Kingfisher has brought in more multilingual trainees as part of its International Graduate Programme and has widened the net to include IT services.

The retailer has taken on 13 new recruits in its second year of the programme, including three who will join its newly launched Kingfisher IT Services programme.

The scheme, which involves graduates working in commercial roles across Kingfisher, has extended its reach to Castorama France and B&Q China.

Eight of the graduates will work at both Castorama France and B&Q UK & Ireland, whilst two will spend their first year at B&Q UK & Ireland before transferring to B&Q China in September 2014.

They will be responsible for the end-to-end product buying process, which involves product development, supplier briefing, assessment, and negotiation, getting product onto shelf and assessing customer feedback.

Kingfisher group talent development director Liz Bell said: “The goal of each of our graduate programmes is to create a strong young talent pool for the commercial and IT teams across all of our operating companies. Developing our One Team leadership group is a key part of our Creating the Leader strategy so it is vital that we invest in talent in the early stages of their careers.

“With our international reach we can offer graduates the opportunity to travel between businesses and markets, gaining unrivalled experience and insight into international retailing.”

The three graduates on the IT Services programme spend their time learning about how systems and processes operate across the UK and French businesses.

Sandra Hailstone, head of hr for Kingfisher corporate functions, said: “The KITS Graduate Programme will develop future talent to ensure we deliver the right technology to keep Kingfisher ahead of its competitors as a leading international, omnichannel retailing group in the digital era.”

The retailer used online video technology to conduct first-round interviews with its international applicants. Candidates uploaded filmed answers to a set of pre-recorded questions to an online portal.

Source: Retail Week

04 September 2013
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