Sainsbury’s has increased the number of places available on its graduate training programme by 30%, providing a rare glimpse of hope for students graduating in a recession.

For its 2010 graduate scheme, Sainsbury’s will have 85 places, compared to 65 last year.

There are 13 different schemes available on the graduate programme. Of those, the retail scheme is the largest and Sainsbury’s has doubled the amount of places on this scheme. The move reflects its plan to grow its store portfolio by adding 15% new space by 2011.

Imelda Walsh, Sainsbury’s human resources director, said: “Sainsbury’s has a long history of commitment to graduates and students and the increase in the number of places available is proof of our dedication to training the retail leaders of tomorrow, despite the current economic climate.”