23 January, 2015

Marks & Start – Over 10 Years of Changing Lives

In 2004, M&S launched the Marks & Start employability programme to help disadvantaged people into work. We’re extremely proud to be celebrating the 10th anniversary of the programme, having supported over 10,300 people through training and work experience.

We work with four programme partners – Remploy, Business in the Community, Gingerbread and The Prince’s Trust – to support groups including people with disabilities, those at risk of being homeless, single parents and young unemployed people. For many, joining Marks & Start has changed their lives, with 90% reporting increased confidence that has helped them to find work.

Following pre-placement training from a charity partner, participants spend 2-4 weeks on a training placement in one of our stores or offices. The charity partners support participants after their placements to maximise their employability prospects. What’s more, if the individual shows real aptitude for the role, and is deemed suitable to employ, they can take an M&S vacancy in any store within a six-month period, without having to apply or be assessed.

Since the programme started, around 40-50% of participants have gone into employment with M&S, adding to the diversity of our workforce, or with another employer.

“It’s changed my life, I thought I’d never get a job, that no one would employ me, Marks & Start has turned my life around.” 

This is just one of the moving life stories that sit behind the figures. To read more, please click here. Interested applicants should contact one of Marks & Start’s programme partners directly. 

Inside M&S
20 January, 2015

From the Big Four to top-flight retail

"Hi, I’m Jessica, I’m an ACA-qualified Accountant and I work in M&S Finance. 

"I’ve been with the business for nine months now. It’s been quite a change to come to work in the retail sector as I was previously working for one of the Big 4 accounting firms.

"My role focuses on managing the profitability reporting for General Merchandise and Food, as well as our retail stores and M&S.com. Sitting within the Internal Reporting team, I also spend a lot of time preparing internal management packs for Board meetings. These might include things such as progress against our KPIs and our outturn view of profit for the year, and I have to spend a lot of time working with people across the Finance function and other areas to pull these together.

"One thing that attracted me to M&S is the focus on Learning & Development. A variety of courses are offered through this programme, ranging from Technical courses on accounting matters, to more commercial ones, covering topics such as what it takes to run the M&S.com website, as well as developing soft skills such as negotiation. As well as developing my own skills, these also give me some context behind the numbers and make me feel in touch with what we are doing as a retailer.

"Whilst I am enjoying my role now, we are really encouraged to think about our future careers at M&S. Many people in Finance move around the business after around two years in role, which is great if you want a challenging and varied career."

Discover what we look for in our Finance teams

Inside M&S
12 January, 2015

Japan's patisserie chefs lead the world in all things sweet

James Campbell has the best job in the world – or the worst. The patisserie chef, currently masterminding a dessert revolution in the High Street, has tasted 140 Japanese desserts in one week, including 27 in a single day.

Mr Campbell is Marks & Spencer's dessert product developer – his team was responsible for the Jaffa Sphere sell-out success – and he is in Tokyo on a trip to find inspiration for this year's new range of puds and even "the next big trend for 2016". Japan may seem an unusual place to come to scout for new ideas, but the country's patisserie chefs are world leaders after learning their trade in Paris and bringing it home with their own twists.

"It's the absolute precision," explains Campbell. "There is a ridiculous amount of detail that goes into the products here. There's the real trend of French patisserie multiplied by the work ethic and precision of the Japanese which takes it to a whole new level."

European-style patisseries can be found almost everywhere in Japan. Isetan – one of Tokyo's most upmarket stores, has more than 30 patisserie concessions on one floor – far more than in top UK department stores.

Mr Campbell, who has worked with Gary Rhodes and was head pastry chef at London's Mandarin Oriental, has already created a stir at M&S since joining the company in 2013. The Belgian Chocolate Jaffa Sphere, dubbed Britain's "sexiest dessert", rapidly became M&S's fastest selling dessert of all time with 10,000 a week being sold in the run up to Christmas. It is part of an overhaul of the range, which is bringing in patisserie style desserts for customers with more high-end tastes than ever, thanks in part to the popularity of baking programmes.

"We've seen a massive trend for professional, patisserie style desserts, especially on TV," says Mr Campbell.

"As challenges on Masterchef and The Great British Bake Off become increasingly difficult, people are giving up on creating the desserts themselves, instead resorting to ready-made versions. I wanted to create restaurant quality, show-stopping desserts for people to enjoy at home."

M&S's team of developers travel the world searching for the next taste sensation. So, what can we expect to see in this year's range, after the Japan trip? Mr Campbell can't give away all his secrets, but there will almost certainly be yuzu and passion fruit flavours and a big focus on seasonality, which is key to Japanese cooking.
Mr Campbell hopes that Japanese patisserie chefs can inspire the next Jaffa Sphere Mr Campbell hopes that Japanese patisserie chefs can inspire the next Jaffa Sphere

"We will be launching seasonal British ingredients in our desserts including rhubarb, gooseberry and damsons," says Campbell.

Osami Kubota, executive pastry chef at the Palace Hotel Tokyo, one of the city's finest, explains that using ingredients that are in season was vital in setting Japanese patisserie apart, as well as the "dexterity" and "very delicate craftsmanship"

Given that green tea is everywhere in Japan, including in ice-cream and even KitKat bars with pale green chocolate, I assumed we could expect green tea to crop up, but Mr Campbell says the British palette is not ready for this yet. Instead tea, whether it be green, earl grey, or various Chinese blends, will be used as perfume rather than flavour. This month, M&S is launching Matcha (green tea) and Earl Grey chocolates.

Fortunately, Mr Campbell still has "a reasonably sweet tooth" and a "heightened palette". He had to taste 50 cheesecakes when developing the latest range and on an average week can taste between 100 and 200 desserts. Before Christmas his team tasted every single Christmas dessert by every competitor over three days. Mr Campbell says he runs around 13 to 14 miles every Sunday "to keep the weight down".

The Scot, now 39, wanted to be an accountant but, after leaving school at 17, a short stint as a commis chef at the Cameron House Hotel, Loch Lomond, convinced him he could be a success in the food industry.

"I grew up on a council estate in Glasgow and I could see this was a way of working yourself out of your situation," he says. "It's a very rewarding career and you absolutely make your own destiny."

Chefs' hours are notoriously punishing – Mr Campbell regularly started at 5.30am and would work until midnight only to start it all again the next day – but he "loved the discipline, the meticulousness of it". He says: "It's a blood, sweat and tears industry and it's one of those that if you work hard you can do well."

Having enjoyed a career that took him around the world, including a year in Sydney, it was the birth of his two children, now aged six and four, that made him realise he didn't want to continue with those hours. "My focus totally shifted," he says. "I'm no less industrious or passionate but I'm just not there 20 hours a day."

A chef's drive comes from a constant need to improve, he says; his mother is always asking him: "When will you realise that you are good at what you do?"

"You don't," he says, "because there is always someone nipping at your heels. You have to constantly innovate."

Discover what we look for in our Food & Product Technology teams 

Search for Food Product Development jobs 


This article originally appeared on independent.co.uk 

Inside M&S
9 January, 2015

Wellbeing Week for Food Supply Chain Workers

This month we’re launching Wellbeing Week to our UK food suppliers.

Taking care of all aspects of physical, mental and financial health and wellbeing can reduce stress, prevent illness, and lead to a better quality of life. Healthier and more active workplaces are happier and more productive with research showing that exercise can reduce absenteeism by 23.5% and staff turnover by 16%.

That’s why this month we’re promoting Wellbeing Week 2015 to our food suppliers. Wellbeing Week is an awareness raising campaign for suppliers to run with their workforces, across 6 topics: nutrition and hydration; physical health and fitness; mental health; women and men’s health; saving, pensions and financial management; and careers and skills development. Suppliers are asked to commit to running an awareness raising week on at least one of these topics, and in return they are provided with toolkits, posters and access to a new network of service providers.

Wellbeing Week 2015 follows a successful ‘Money Week’ and ‘Healthy Week’ campaign in 2014, during which sites representing a quarter of our Food volume ran Healthy Week and Money Week involving over 18,000 employees. In 2015 we are aiming to involve even more suppliers and employees in the revamped campaign, which will include a greater emphasis on financial and mental health.

Wellbeing Week forms part of our wider Sustainable Factories programme, and emphasis on employee engagement and ‘Great Places to Work’.

We’re calling on suppliers to sign up now to run the campaign in March – and we’ll post another blog in March to update you on how it goes! 


Find out about wellbeing and working for M&S 

This article originally appeared on the M&S Corporate Blog

Inside M&S

Verkoopmedewerker (Customer Assistant)

Verkoopmedewerker (Customer Assistant)

Als rasechte vertegenwoordiger van ons merk geniet je ervan onze klanten een unieke winkelervaring te bieden die naadloos aansluit op de normen van Marks & Spencer.

Je ondersteunt onze klanten in hun keuze naar de nieuwste trendy kleding, of je adviseert over een passend gerecht of de juiste wijn voor een bepaalde maaltijd.

Je bent opgewekt en vol energie en weet hoe je onze klanten met overtuiging en overgave moet adviseren. Je bent nieuwsgierig en blijft op de hoogte van de nieuwste trends in onze winkels.
Of je als student wilt bijverdienen of op zoek bent naar een vaste baan, wij zetten ons in om je alles te bieden wat je nodig hebt, zodat je in je eigen tempo met ons mee kunt groeien.

Where you'll work

Commercieel manager (Commercial Manager)

Commercieel manager (Commercial Manager)

Je taken en verantwoordelijkheden bestaan uit het aansturen van een team van managers. Daarnaast zorg je ervoor dat elke klant tevreden de winkel uitloopt. Het draait voor jou allemaal om efficiëntie.

Je bent de motor achter de verkoopcijfers en je zoekt naar kansen om de productiviteit te verhogen en onze winkels op het gebied van groei wendbaarder te maken. Daarnaast let je ook goed op persoonlijke prestaties en help je je collega's in hun professionele ontwikkeling. Je bent een geboren leider en past goede werkwijzen toe.

Je bent gedecideerd en betrokken en weet hoe je zakelijke trends en verkoopindicatoren moet interpreteren. Je bent zelfstandig en zit boordevol ideeën. In teamverband lever je de motivatie en de ruimte waarin je personeel kan groeien.

Where you'll work

Afdelingsmanager (Section Manager)

Afdelingsmanager (Section Manager)

Het is jouw verantwoordelijkheid om bedrijfsstrategieën en verkoopprestaties te implementeren. Je wordt in je team als leidinggevende gezien en geeft je team de aanmoediging om zich volledig te ontwikkelen. Je bent er om je teams aan te sturen, hun vaardigheden te ontwikkelen, problemen op een goede manier op te lossen en al onze klanten een zo goed mogelijke winkelervaring te bieden.

Je hebt ervaring en bent van nature proactief en positief. Je bent in je element wanneer het tempo wordt opgevolgd en je weet hoe je objectief tot een snelle beslissing komt. Je bent het schoolvoorbeeld van orde en hebt uitstekende communicatieve vaardigheden. Luisteren en kennis overbrengen zijn een integraal onderdeel van je persoonlijkheid.

Goede kennis van het Engels is een pre en sluit aan bij de kleuren van de Britse vlag waar ons bedrijf zo trots op is.

Je zegt ‘ja’ tegen integriteit.

Where you'll work

Conseiller vendeur (Customer assistant)

Conseiller vendeur (Customer assistant)

Véritable ambassadeur de la marque, vous prenez plaisir à garantir à nos clients une expérience shopping exceptionnelle dans le respect des standards Marks & Spencer.

Vous saurez aider nos clients à faire leur choix parmi les dernières nouveautés dans les rayons vêtements ou à sélectionner le plat le plus adéquat ou la bouteille de vin la plus adaptée à tel ou tel repas.

Where you'll work

Responsable de département (Section manager)

Responsable de département (Section manager)

Vous avez en charge la mise en œuvre de nos stratégies commerciales et la performance des ventes. Leader reconnu auprès de vos équipes, vous savez les encourager à développer tout leur potentiel. Concrètement, vous êtes en magasin à organiser vos équipes, à développer leurs compétences notamment en les coachant, à résoudre les problèmes dans la bonne humeur et à veiller à ce chacun de nos clients vive la meilleure expérience de shopping possible.

Expérimenté, d’un naturel proactif et positif, vous êtes dans votre élément lorsque le rythme est soutenu et vous savez prendre des décisions objectives rapidement. Très organisé et grand communicant, l’exemplarité, l’écoute et la pédagogie font partie intégrante de votre personnalité.

Si vous parlez anglais, c’est un vrai plus pour notre société portant haut et fort les couleurs de l’Union Jack.

Say Yes à l’intégrité.

Where you'll work

Responsable des ventes (Commercial manager)

Responsable des ventes (Commercial manager)

Au sein de votre magasin, vous aurez la responsabilité d’encadrer l’équipe managériale et serez garant de la satisfaction du client. L’efficacité est votre mot d’ordre!

Vous pilotez les performances des ventes et identifiez les opportunités afin de mettre en place une culture de productivité et développez la stratégie de croissance de nos magasins. Mais pas seulement ! Vous suivrez également de près les réalisations individuelles et développerez les potentiels de chacun de vos collaborateurs. Leader reconnu, vous montrez et faits appliquer les bonnes pratiques.

Where you'll work


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