How Jake engineered the career he wanted
You might think it a bit odd to see the words ‘retail’ and ‘engineering’ in the same sentence. But behind our network of high street stores and our hugely popular website lies our Castle Donington Distribution Centre in Derbyshire.
It’s 900,000 sq. ft. of space, packed with the very latest logistics technology which needs to be properly maintained – and fixed if something goes wrong – so we can get our products out to our stores and online customers. Around two million single orders are processed every week at Castle Donington, so the skills of our engineers in keeping everything up and running are vital.
Jake is now one of our engineering team. He started at Castle Donington back in 2012 as a Warehouse Operative. Today, the site can hold up to 16 million products, but things were far more modest back then.
“I was part of the second group of Operatives to be taken on, so there was about 20 of us at the time,” Jake explains. “The site was still in a test phase and there wasn’t a great deal to do apart from general housekeeping and learning the warehouse processes. I could see, however, that the job could give me a way into a career in engineering, which had always been something of interest to me.”
So how did Jake make it happen?
“I basically went to my managers and convinced them that I had the interest and the raw ability to make it in engineering. If you don’t ask, you don’t get! I obviously came across well and was given the job of First Time Fixer, one of the first people to take on the role. This involved managing a range of faults as well as setting out practices for others to follow. Then, in 2014, I was promoted to Engineering Assistant.”
Jake’s now part of a team that pro-actively monitors our fully automated equipment, carrying out fault response work and routine maintenance. He’s a turn-to person to identify system issues and recommend modifications, and getting to know every inch of machinery has meant a lot for Jake to learn.
“Working alongside other engineers, I’m continually expanding my knowledge and hope to be a fully qualified engineer in my own right one day. My training has been extensive, covering everything from climbing to abrasive wheels and Logopak labelling systems. I’ve also been fortunate enough to complete an NVQ Level 2 in Performing Engineering Operations and I hope to sit Level 3 soon.”
Would Jake recommend his career path to others? “I’d encourage anyone to consider a career in engineering with M&S. You’re gaining skills and knowledge that will set you up for life. This obviously benefits you in your job, but learning how things work also comes in handy in your home life.”Inside M&S
Maintenance Engineering Apprenticeship
Are you keen to work with the latest technology and become a multi-skilled Maintenance Engineer? Our Distribution Centre at Castle Donington in Derbyshire has teamed up with Toyota Motor Manufacturing (UK) and Burton & South Derbyshire College to ensure our Maintenance Engineering Advanced Apprenticeships (Level 3) offer the most rounded learning experience possible.
If you hadn’t considered engineering in a retail environment, you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you see our Distribution Centre. It’s 900,000 sq. ft. of state-of-the-art technology that is the cornerstone of our dot.com operation. Over 44 months, you’ll learn exactly what that entails. Your first 22 months will be spent in the Toyota Academy at Burnaston, Derbyshire and the second 22 months at Castle Donington, and you’ll combine hands-on experience with college study.
From day one, you’ll be on a permanent M&S contract, enjoying a starting salary of £11,000, an annual pay increase linked to performance and unit completion, and lots of benefits. On completion, you’ll be a fully-fledged Maintenance Engineer, holding a Level 3 engineering qualification and looking to a bright M&S future. For the right people, there may be an opportunity to study for further qualifications, such as a Level 4 qualification.
Applications are now closed.
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Applications are now closed.
What we look for
- At least 4 GCSEs at grade 4 or above including Maths, English and Science or equivalent (expected or gained).
- A passion for working with your hands, solving problems and getting to grips with the latest high-tech mechatronic, electrical, mechanical and fluid power equipment.
- Ability to take on a role that requires outstanding attention to detail and work well as part of a team.
- Patience and a willingness to work and study hard to progress on one of the most forward-looking apprenticeship schemes around.
- You must be aged 16 or over.
Our Castle Donington Distribution Centre is wholly owned by M&S and is one of the largest and most efficient sites of its kind in the UK. You could say it’s our largest store. With the ability to accommodate nine miles of hanging garments, it can hold up to 15 million M&S products at any one time. The site is fully automated and operates around the clock, 365 days a year. At peak up to two million single orders are processed every week for local and global, home and store delivery – so the site plays an invaluable role in making sure our customers get what they want, when they want it.
You’re probably beginning to see how important it is that we keep everything up and running – and that’s the job of our Maintenance Engineers. When you join the team at Castle Donington, much of your learning will be on the job. You’ll also discover how and why we make the health and safety of our colleagues the number one priority at the site.Learn more
Come to an assessment centre
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Part 1 - Toyota Academy, Burnaston, Derby
Your first 22 months will be spent in the Toyota Academy at Burnaston in Derby, which is Toyota’s vehicle manufacturing plant. Here, you’ll learn about engineering theory and more practical skills such as hand tools, welding, machining, robotics, power systems and electronics. Personal development courses will help you to build skills like teamwork and practical problem solving, and there will be a team building activity – meaning a week away. In addition, you’ll also spend some placement weeks at our Castle Donington site.
Part 2 – Castle Donington
Your second 22 months will be spent at Castle Donington. Here, you’ll build on your experiences at Toyota Academy by moving into a live, hands-on maintenance engineering role, which will give you the opportunity to put your new skills in welding, machining, hand tool use, electronics, robotics, fluid and air power into practice. You’ll continue to be assessed on the job and benefit from additional personal development courses. On completion of the programme and achievement of the Level 3 qualification, you’ll join one of our teams and make a real contribution to the smooth running of the site.
If you’re leaving school, it’s not easy to decide on your next move. Should you go on to university and continue learning? Or do you move into the world of work and start earning?
Both options have their pros and cons, but only an M&S Apprenticeship offers the best of both worlds. It’s a fantastic opportunity to develop the skills needed to forge a career with one of the UK’s favourite retailers, gain a nationally recognised qualification – and, what’s more, earn good money while you’re doing it.
We offer Apprenticeships in Retail, Distribution and Head Office. On all our schemes, we take our responsibilities towards young people seriously, helping them to do more and be more. As well as learning from people in your team who have been there, seen it and done it, more formal coaching and training will give you the skills that will stand you in good stead for the rest of your career.
Applications for our 2018 intake are now closed.
Parents & Teachers
You could be a parent, relative or family friend of a child thinking about their future. Or you might be a respected teacher or careers advisor. Young people listen to you because you have their interests at heart. M&S is here to help you to help them make the right choices.Find out more
Further discounts on
Percy Pig hits the road with free sandwiches for lucky students across the UK
At M&S, we love helping bright young talent tap into their potential. After all they help make us the company we are and we’re not shy about admitting that they are our future. That’s why we thought of a fun and tasty way to introduce university students to our business, and to tell them all about the work and opportunities we have at M&S.
Students and sandwiches are known to be staunch allies; one cannot do without the other, and it just so happens that no one does sandwiches better than we do. That’s why we launched Vandwich, our very own touring van of delicious goodness; and we took it to six lucky campuses around the country.
We chose six universities: Aston, Leeds, UCL, York, Leicester and Manchester. Why those, you ask? Well, because of lots of hard-working students burning the midnight oil. We thought they deserved a treat, so we showed up with Vandwich, filled with M&S sandwiches, crisps, Percy Pigs and none other than Percy Pig himself to meet the students and take pictures with them.
The Vandwich tour was such a success that students from other universities wanted us to visit them too. We asked 30 universities to go to vandwich.co.uk and vote for their campus. The top 15 got M&S goodies delivered straight to their uni door.
But it didn’t end there. We know students have big responsibilities and we could all use an assistant from time to time. So this gave us a great idea and we wanted to make sure it was open to all students. We asked them to post a photo or video featuring Percy Pig to Twitter mentioning ‘#vandwich’ for a chance to be entered into a social media competition. The top five would win an Amazon Echo, which we thought would be the perfect ‘assistant’ for a busy student.Inside M&S
Best employer website - RADs 2017
We’re delighted to announce the M&S Careers website won Best Employer Website at The RAD Awards 2017 on 26th January. Now in their 27th year, The RADs recognise the very best creative work in recruitment communications across a host of industry sectors. As you can imagine, competition for these accolades is fierce so we’re doubly proud to have won against so many other worthy entries.
As a leading international multichannel retailer, we need to reach out to a range of audiences – from experienced hires to graduates and school leavers. Creating a site that caters to our complex needs while remaining true to our core values of Innovation, Inspiration, Integrity and In touch is no mean feat.
We’ll leave the final word to our Head of Resourcing, Kim:
“Our team are over the moon to achieve this accolade – it is great recognition of the significant innovation that has gone into making our Careers Website intuitive and interactive for our candidates – a great way to learn about our M&S talent brand and all it has to offer.”Inside M&S
Meet our Digital Graduates
At M&S we live and breathe our values. But none are more important than innovation for our colleagues working in M&S Digital. You can find it in all of our stores and every aspect of our operations. Technology is transforming the way our customers shop and we strive to bring ease, convenience and quality to their experience. Thinking outside of the box means we’ve adopted a start-up mentality, where trying, failing and moving on are integral to our success. But what makes us fundamentally different to a start-up is that we have an audience of over 32 million customers.
At the core of the great work done by the M&S Digital team are people, like Tara who joined our programme through the ‘IT’s not just for boys’ event, and works on our Digital Display team:
“I want to make great experiences that people will love. I make an effort to find out more about the customers we build things for. Potential customers too. It can really influence the work you do for the better. I love the freedom that M&S has given me to try new things and the feedback we get is pretty instant. And how many companies give their engineers time in the week to learn new skills and get involved in projects beyond their day jobs?” Tara, Graduate Software Engineer.
And M&S Digital is so much more than a dot.com, our team is producing cutting edge technology such as the ‘Cook with M&S’ app and ‘Try Tuesday’ website, transforming the way our customers interact with us. For Alysia, the exposure she got on her rotations helped her to hone in on what she really loved doing:
“I think it’s really important to take advantage of all the resources on offer. I have a graduate manager and mentors, as well as buddies to start. Then there’s the breadth of training courses and workshops I’ve attended. But there’s no substitute for learning on-the-job. Something just clicked on one of the digital projects I was working on and, suddenly I found myself coming up with solutions for all kinds of things that no-one had thought of previously.” Alysia, Digital Graduate.
What’s more we want to prepare our team and give them a varied skillset, so that they can succeed in the fast-paced and competitive world of technology.
“I’ve been constantly encouraged to focus on my personal development – attending courses and getting involved is as many activities as possible outside of my day job. There is a company-wide attitude to continuous improvement. It’s up to you to get outside your comfort zone and make the most of it. You’ll be glad you did. From my perspective, the past year has been the best of my career, by an absolute mile.” Sophie, Graduate IT Business Analyst.
If you would like to find out more about our graduate roles click here. Whilst applications aren’t open until September do keep in touch on Twitter @MandStalent and LinkedIn; Marks and Spencer.
Life at M&S: careers beyond the shop floor
It’s simple. The Retail industry generates billions of pounds every year and employs millions of people. It’s fast-paced and ever-changing, especially thanks to technology. A lot of people don’t even consider the possibility of a future in retail because they worry that the shop floor isn’t for them. But retail at M&S offers much more than this.
And nowhere in retail do the opportunities come bigger and better than at M&S.
We’re an icon on the British high street. For over 125 years, we’ve shaped some of the biggest changes in the retail sector and today we operate in 59 territories, employ more than 83,000 people and serve over 33 million customers.
But far from resting on our laurels, our sights are very much set on the future. So we’re responding to changing shopper habits and embracing the latest in technology, whether that means our enormously popular website or apps that put M&S in the palm of customers’ hands. We’re driving innovation across our product lines. And we’re committed to acting responsibly. In fact, we have a clear goal to become the world’s most sustainable retailer – and our participation in a wide range of voluntary collaborations to address climate change is just one way we’re going about it.
At M&S, we offer some of the best structured and well-paid internships, placement years and graduate programmes. You’ll quickly develop key management skills such as how to work under pressure, take commercial decisions and well calculated risks or deal tactfully with customer concerns. This will enable you to progress into more senior roles and even to move into other business areas to gain further experience.
But if shop floor management isn’t for you, that’s not a problem. Retail at M&S is about a lot more than just what happens in store. And in areas ranging from Digital to Business & Retail and Clothes & Home Retail, we have a variety of roles for graduates interested in Software Engineering, Business Analysis, Marketing, Human Resources, Design, Property and many more fields.
Like what you’ve heard so far? Applications aren’t open until September but keep in touch and follow us on Twitter @MandStalent or LinkedIn: Marks and Spencer.Inside M&S
Aberystwyth, dyma ni’n dod
Am fwy o wybodaeth ac i ymgeisio ewch i http://bit.ly/2gS1b4d
International Day of Persons with Disabilities, from Lorna's perspective
We pride ourselves on helping talented people tap into their potential at M&S. They help us make us the business we are. To mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3 December, we’ve asked Lorna to tell her story and how co-founding the Buddy Network at M&S has helped her and others with a disability, make the most of their talent.
“I’m an Onsite Search Specialist for M&S.com. I’m also an M.E. sufferer and have lived with the condition for 13 years. It’s also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I’ve also recently been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, another long-term condition which can cause pain all over the body. As you can imagine, my conditions can make working life challenging – which is why I co-founded the Buddy Network at M&S.
“It’s a support network at M&S for anyone with a disability, health condition or just interested in wellbeing and supporting others at work. We’re also working to help improve the support available at M&S – whether that’s information available on different conditions or line manager support. We’re deliberately not a corporate-led group; it’s very much a group created by and led for the people that need it. After all it’s those of us living and breathing our conditions that are the experts in understanding what support is required and more importantly what works.
“I have a buddy at work called Suzie. We’ve got different conditions but started off having coffee with each other every couple of weeks and sharing our tips for coping with our conditions at work. It was so helpful having someone to speak to that really gets it and that you can rant to on a bad day, that we decided to open our coffee and chats to everyone else. A year later we have a growing online community, of 140 plus members from stores, head offices, all over M&S.
“The business are very much willing to listen and learn. There’s also actually some really good information resources and support available. The Buddy Network is working with M&S to help the people who need to, access it. I think support for line managers is key too. Managing people is a difficult job to start with but for those of us with disabilities having a supportive manager can make all the difference.
“I think you’d struggle to find the perfect disability employer but M&S has good foundations in place. The work the Buddy Network is doing can only improve things further. Saying that I’ve had some fabulous managers that have really mastered the art of balancing great support alongside giving me the opportunities to develop, grow and step outside my comfort zone.
“People’s perception of disability, in my experience, can be very mixed. A lot comes down to how you personally, approach it. I’ve always been completely open about my disability – it’s there – it’s not going away and the challenges I face because of it have made me who I am. It's made me a fighter. It’s taught me the importance of empathy and positive thinking. I’ve learnt not to take things for granted; not to judge a book by its cover; and that you never know what’s coming round the corner.
“Creating the Buddy Network has been a fantastic rewarding experience. And when someone joins the group and says it’s made them realise they’re not alone – that’s just priceless. It’s great to spend time around the day job contributing to something so important. If you join M&S, come and join us; we’re open to all whether you have a disability, health condition or just an interest in wellbeing.Inside M&S
Discover the story behind The Table
Discover the story behind The Table - British chefs working with the best of M&S British Beef to create an innovative dining experience like no other.Inside M&S