DIY giant Kingfisher has launched an international graduate programme “designed to fast-track young talent into commercial roles across the organisation”.
Kingfisher, which operates its flagship B&Q brand in the UK as well as fascias in countries including France, Poland, Russian and China, launched the initiative on July 2.
The first intake will spend one year at B&Q in the UK and another year at the group’s Brico Dépôt business in France. The retailer plans to extend the scheme to other areas of the business in time.
The graduates will work in product buying, category management and brand management roles in various departments.
The graduates are all British but are fluent in French. They will receive a starting salary of £28,000.
Kingfisher aims to develop its own “talent pipeline of product buyers and other key commercial roles”.
The scheme forms part of the retailer’s ‘Creating the Leader’ plan.
Kingfisher group talent development director Liz Bell said: “This exciting scheme offers graduates a genuinely international training experience within our commercial departments, which represent the core of any retailing business.
“We received more than 500 applicants for the places and our aim is to extend the programme to more of the businesses within Kingfisher.
“We are investing in our people at Kingfisher and this scheme is one of several across the business that will help us create a genuine leader in home improvement retailing.”
The move follows B&Q’s ‘Fast Track’ Retail Management Programme, which is B&Q’s first graduate scheme for four years.
B&Q also launched its innovative ‘Youth Board’ last year, a one year programme where nine 16-18 year olds shadowed B&Q’s board for a year.