An M&S Apprenticeship opens all kinds of doors
Matthew Meek is an M&S Apprentice Data Analyst. Nothing too unusual about that. But how many Data Analysts can say they have developed a cake that will be sold in M&S Cafés up and down the country in Autumn 2019? We only know of one. This is Matt’s story.
“It was the brand that drew me here. M&S occupies a unique place in retail and in the hearts and minds of the British public. Not just British actually, now we’re a truly international brand. I joined the business in my apprentice role straight from school after finishing my A-levels. I’d also been working at a high-street mobile phone store, so retail wasn’t completely new to me.
“I knew I’d be in good hands here and M&S has certainly more than lived up to its reputation for doing things with a great deal of thought and care. It’s possibly the best decision I’ve ever made. Working here has surpassed my expectations. I was treated as a fully-fledged member of the team from the word go. Any idea that apprentices are somehow less than anyone else is certainly not true here. I’ve been given useful opportunities to develop and the whole experience has been great. There’s been an emphasis on college coming before work too, as classroom learning is a big part of the apprentice offer.
“As a result, I’m personally hugely pleased with how I’m developing. Currently, I work in Supply Chain and Logistics within the A&R (Allocation and Replenishment) Central Team. Being an apprentice means much of my time is spent learning how to perform the role. This also involves attending college as I’m working towards a Level 4 Data Analysis qualification as part of the scheme. I’m covering a lot of ground on the job too: raising stock orders with suppliers; being an Agile Scrum Master for my team - which involves a lot of project and people management; plus, I perform in-depth routine and ad-hoc analysis for key business stakeholders.
“Obviously it was a bit of a shock to the system going from a medium-sized school to an office containing thousands of people. However, M&S made sure the transition was as smooth as possible. When I started, a plan was set out of what to expect over the course of the programme and who my direct lines of support were. My line manager and others are all incredibly supportive of the programme as a whole and have really helped bed it in.”
So, the question on everyone’s lips is: where does the cake fit in?
“The simple answer is my cake was judged to be the best entry in the Cake Off we held to celebrate the Macmillan Coffee Morning. I’d never baked anything before either. I was gobsmacked. My prize for winning is to have my cake sold at M&S Cafés for a month around the same time next year.
“It’s exciting and feels great. It’s weird to think that soon I’ll be able to go into a store and see something I created, I don’t think it will fully sink in until I actually see it in store. I think it’s amazing that each purchase contributes to such an amazing cause, hopefully it helps to raise a huge amount of money!
“It just goes to show that anything is possible here. The working culture is driven yet still manages to be relaxed when it needs to be. I feel the perfect work-life has been achieved here; people are passionate about delivering results; the business is passionate that this shouldn’t come at the cost of a fully rounded life outside work.”Inside M&S
Chipping Norton: We’re on our way
A little piece of M&S is coming to Chipping Norton. 7,000 square feet of it to be exact, in the shape of our latest Simply Foods store. Nestled in the heart of the Costwolds, Chipping Norton will boost our presence in the area as, right now, apart from our BP franchise in Stow-on-the-Wold, Cotswold residents have to go as far afield as Cirencester, Evesham and Bath for their M&S favourites.
Our presence in Chipping Norton will also save locals here a one-hour round trip to Banbury, Witney or Summertown Simply Food, all of which are about a 30 minute drive away. We won’t, however, be joining the other big retail brands and independents on the pretty high street. Our site will be on the east of the town, off the main A44 London road, which we’ll share with three other retailers, together with the 85 parking spaces located there.
As well as our Click and Collect service, you can look forward to freshly prepared goods, courtesy of our instore Bakery. Grace Allcock, our store manager there, is keen to welcome you and had this to say about our arrival in the town:
“Chipping Norton is an exciting location for our new M&S simply food store. It is the first of its kind in the area and has huge potential. It boasts stunning scenery and has fantastic transport links to the neighbouring towns, the surrounding community are eagerly awaiting the opening.”
All of which is great news, whether you wish to shop with us, or come and join us on the other side of the counter. We have roles available for Salesfloor Customer Assistants; Store Operations Customer Assistants and In Store Bakery Assistants, as well as in FHSO and Administration.
Whatever reason you have to visit us, you can reach us directly from the A44 and A429 via Moreton-in-Marsh. There’s a good local bus service that connects with several neighbouring towns, including Moreton, Stow-on-the-Wold and Shipston-on-Stour.
We look forward to welcoming you soon. If you are interested in working in store, we have a range of shifts available and it’s easy to apply online at http://careers.marksandspencer.com/new-store-registrationInside M&S
Our next port of call is Gosport
Our latest Simply Food store is about to drop anchor in Gosport. So whether you’re looking for your very own M&S favourites or even a new role, it’s time to get on board. We’ll be treating the 70,000-plus people that live there to a whole 9,000 sq ft of imaginative food ideas, and we expect it to be a huge success.
Find us on the Fareham Road about three miles north of the town centre. We’ll be sharing the 338 free car parking spaces at Brockhurst Gate Shopping Park with several established high-street names.
Alex Pattison, our new store manager, believes we’re in for a very warm welcome:
“I am very excited to be opening our new store in Gosport. The area has been eagerly awaiting an M&S, so it is very important for us to be a big part of the local community and to ensure we give everyone a special shopping experience.”
In fact, the only thing that’s missing to make this the perfect store is you. We have roles for Salesfloor Customer Assistants; Store Operations Customer Assistants; and In Store Bakery Assistants as well as in Fire, Health & Safety and Administration.
Choose from a range of shift patterns and work alongside people who pride themselves of their high standards. If you’re interested and would like further details or to apply, why not pay us a visit today at http://careers.marksandspencer.com/new-store-registrationInside M&S
Canvey Island: Say hello to Simply Food
Our Simply Food new store openings are continuing to gather pace. Next stop: Canvey Island. We’ll be calling this part of Essex home with this latest 7,400 square foot addition to our growing family. Located on the south east coast, Canvey’s 38,000 residents live about 20 minutes away from nearby Basildon and just 10 from neighbouring Southend.
The store will arrive around the same time as 290 extra free parking spaces are added to the 558 already on site. These will be shared with the other five retailers who are either already there or will be joining us shortly.
Canvey will boast a Click and Collect service, as well as a range of freshly prepared favourites, thanks to our instore Bakery. Claire Benson, the manager at the new store, can’t wait to welcome you there and says there’s some excitement about our arrival:
“Canvey is a fantastic location for our new M&S Simply Food store, and forms part of a growing Retail Park. You can access Canvey SF via Road, or Train into Canvey with a Bus route completing your journey. The surrounding community are eagerly awaiting our opening.”
There’s another reason to come and visit us too. We have roles available for Salesfloor Customer Assistants; Store Operations Customer Assistants and In Store Bakery Assistants, so if you’re looking for a new role, we’d love to hear from you. We have a range of shifts available and it’s easy to apply online by visiting HEREInside M&S
We can’t get enough of Worcester
Hopefully, the feeling is mutual as we’re soon to open a Simply Food format store there. This time we’re bringing 7,400 square foot of M&S special to the Blackpole Retail Park. With its own in store bakery and Click and Collect facility, our new site will complement our full line high street store which is already fully established in the town.
Our new home will see us join a host of retailers on the site, which has 439 free parking spaces for customers to take advantage of. But we’re not just offering an alternative place to pick up your M&S favourites. Perhaps you’d like to join us on the other side of the counter and take on a new role with us?
Andrew Ling, our new store manager, will give you a very warm welcome.
He had this to say about our arrival:
“Worcester Blackpole is a fantastic location for our new Simply Food store. I’m delighted to offer the Worcester customer the opportunity to shop our fantastic food range with the benefit of 400 plus car parking spaces on Blackpole Retail Park.”
We have roles available for Salesfloor Customer Assistants; Store Operations Customer Assistants; and In Store Bakery Assistants; as well as for a Fire, Health and Safety Officer and in Administration. There is a range of shift patterns available and it’s easy to apply. Simply pay us a visit at http://careers.marksandspencer.com/new-store-registrationInside M&S
Our newest arrival is due in Royston soon.
We can’t wait to get our latest new store opening up and running. You’ll find us just off York Way in the northern outskirts of the town at the Royston Gateway. The new store will feature familiar food favourites as well as an Instore Bakery, and Click and Collect.
The manager of our new store can’t wait to get things up and running:
“I am so excited to be opening our new store in Royston and I know M&S will be a fantastic addition to the town. We aim to give everyone a special shopping experience and are looking forward to working closely with the local community. We can’t wait to bring the M&S brand and our excellent food products to our new customers!”
If you’d like to join us in making this latest addition to our store family a success, there’s no shortage of ways to do so. We have roles available for Salesfloor Customer Assistants; Store Operations Customer Assistants; In Store Bakery Assistants and Section Co-ordinators, as well as in FHSO and Administration.
There is also a range of shift patterns available, so we should be able to find something that works for you. If you’re interested and would like further details or to apply, why not pay us a visit today at http://careers.marksandspencer.com/new-store-registrationInside M&S
THE CHRISTMAS BUZZ AT M&S
Nicola hadn’t worked in retail before she joined M&S and didn’t really know what to expect. But it turned out to be “one of the best decisions I ever made”. As a Customer Assistant in Womenswear at our Middlesbrough store, Nicola was made to feel welcome from day one. Now she loves helping our customers, working with colleagues in a warm, friendly and respectful culture and giving her best.
Especially at Christmas, when the store truly comes alive. “My first Christmas with M&S will always stick in the memory. It was extremely busy but that made it all the more enjoyable, and it was amazing how dramatically the store layout and backstage areas changed to make space for all the festive lines. It was like a completely different store,” she remembers.
It wasn’t a one-off, either. “There’s a magical atmosphere in store over Christmas every year, a real buzz that’s shared by customers and colleagues. Everyone is so productive, and there’s a lot of satisfaction in a job well done” she says. “The store’s footfall changes during the festive period and last year in particular my knowledge of Gift Shop products grew massively, which enabled me to answer all the questions customers threw at me. One thing I’ve learned is that it takes a lot of effort and preparation to get ready for our peak time of year.”
That’s not the only thing Nicola has learned during her time with M&S. She has completed a Retail Apprenticeship and this has given her a great insight into how we produce and dress our products. “I’ve been able to see just how much goes into making sure our products are of the highest quality,” she says. “We’re a team of perfectionists – did you know that our melt-in-the-middle chocolate pudding took 18 months to develop?”
Nicola loves her job – and she loves her 20% staff discount. “Now I know our product ranges, there are things I simply wouldn’t buy anywhere else. I’m going to need a new coat for this winter and I’ve already spotted the one I want on our shop floor!”Find out more about our Christmas job opportunities here.
Latest JobsView jobs on jobs.marksandspencer.com
If you’re looking for the quintessential English holiday resort, you’ll find it in Walton-on-the Naze, nestling on the North Sea coast in Essex.
It’s a small, quiet, beautifully kept town in the Tendring part of the county, close to Frinton-on-Sea. There’s a lovely sandy beach here that attracts holidaymakers in their droves. It has its own pier and, along the coast, there are many fossils to be found and rocks that date back 50 million years.
And, very soon, Walton-on-the-Naze will have its own M&S Simply Foods. What a great place to build a retail career!
Our new store will occupy 9,000 sq. ft. of space on the site of an old caravan park. It will stock the full range of scrumptious M&S food, there will be an In-Store Bakery and we’ll also be offering a Click & Collect service, which means customers will be able to pick up our fantastic fashions as well as food.
We’re the first ‘big’ store to move into the town, which is great news for the people of Walton on-the-Naze and Frinton-on-Sea as well as visitors to the area. Nothing’s better than an M&S snack while taking in the sun on a beach!
But it could also be great news if you’re looking to develop a career in retail. Our new Walton-on-the-Naze store will need a whole host of people including:
Sales Floor Customer Assistants
Store Operations Customer Assistants
In-Store Bakery Assistants
Fire, Health & Safety Officer
There is a variety of shifts available, both full and part time, so there’s every chance we’ll have something that suits you. Walton-on-the-Naze has its own railway station and there will also be good bus links to our new store.
Lisa will be the new Store Manager and can’t wait for the doors to open:
“M&S will be a great addition to the town. Local people, holidaymakers, day-trippers – we aim to give everyone a special shopping experience by combining a great selection of products with the renowned M&S service. Come and be part of an exciting team and make it happen!”
Interested? Apply at https://jobs.marksandspencer.com/Inside M&S
TREATING EVERYONE WITH RESPECT
Nick’s career with M&S started as a Christmas temp. He’d previously worked in retail, but every company does things differently. There was a lot to pick up, but we made sure his learning was exciting and he was soon up to speed.
First impressions count, so what were Nick’s? “I never realised how much you could enjoy a job until I started working for M&S! Many people nowadays prefer flexibility than working on a regular basis. But at M&S everyone is treated with respect, whoever they are, whatever hours they work, and they get the help they need when they need it,” he says. And that’s not all he’s discovered: “Everyone is so close here. People are more friends than fellow employees.”
Christmas is obviously our busiest time, but no-one is left to sink or swim. Nick picked up quite quickly that even if an area is under-resourced for some reason, help is at hand. That support enables everyone to perform when the pace is fast and keep cool under pressure. And while it’s busy, Nick also believes that Christmas is the most enjoyable time of year. “We all get into the festive spirit and it’s great talking to customers about what they’re doing over the holiday, and getting them interested in the different food lines we’ve introduced for Christmas.”.
Nick also found our 20% staff discount a huge plus. He used to shop at another supermarket and believed he got a good deal, but… “Once my family and I started shopping at M&S we not only saved ourselves a lot of money, but the food quality was so much better, as was the variety of products.”
After his seasonal contract ended, Nick was over the moon to be offered a permanent role – due reward for his motivation and talents – and is now proud to be part of M&S full time and looking to a long-term future with us.
He’s a Section Coordinator in Foods at our Guildford store, where his role is to work with other Coordinators to supervise Customer Assistants, help customers on the information desk and generally make sure everything is ship-shape. And that’s not the only role he has in the store. Nick is a trained First Aider. He’s often helped customers who have fallen over or are feeling unwell, but there’s one occasion that sticks out in the memory:
“A lady had a panic attack. We took her to a separate room off the shop floor, comforted her, gave her food and water and completed her shopping for her. When she was OK to leave we booked her a taxi to get home. We called her up the next day to check on her and she was lost for words to describe how much we helped her.”
That’s Nick for you.Inside M&S
FORWARD THINKING, FUTURE-FOCUSED AND DIGITAL-FIRST
Why work for us?
At M&S, we focus relentlessly on delivering top quality products to our customers. That much has never changed. Our attention to detail and passion for improvement has led to the creation of some of the nation’s most loved products. But the world is changing fast, and we’re changing with it. M&S is transforming to become more relevant, more often, to our existing customers, and appeal to new ones too. We’re setting bolder goals and giving our people the space and resources to achieve them. From placing M&S at the forefront of the digital revolution to deliver for customers - existing and new, there’s never been a more exciting time to join us. Because being part of our journey today quite simply means shaping the future of our business. And if you’re ready to play your part, you’ll be richly rewarded with competitive salaries, bonus schemes and flexible working options.
We are a digital-first, customer obsessed retailer known for our M&S own-brand model, which delivers top quality food, clothing, home products and financial services. Our annual turnover is £10 billion and we have a presence in some 57 countries worldwide. We employ over 80,000 colleagues who serve about 32 million people each week. And we’re constantly evolving. Connecting with our customers is at the heart of our business – which is why we’re partnering with world-class technology firms to help shape the retail experience of the future.
We are committed to an active Equal Opportunities Policy. This doesn't just cover our recruitment and selection procedures, but runs right through learning and development, appraisal, and promotion opportunities. We work hard to cultivate an environment free from discrimination, harassment and victimisation. At M&S, everyone can achieve their full potential, regardless of;
- gender, sexual orientation, or marital status
- race, colour, nationality,
- hours of work
- religious or political beliefs
Pay – our salaries are competitive and reviewed every year, with extra performance rewards to recognise individual achievements.
Employee discount – 20% on all in-store and online purchases for you and a partner or family member.
Holidays – a minimum 28 days’ statutory holiday per year, pro-rata if you’re part time.
Bonus – we have a number of discretionary bonus schemes for employees who’ve helped us reach our goals.
Pension – we offer a Defined Contribution pension plan, to which we contribute 6% for every 3% you put in. More at www.yourmandspension.com.
Life Assurance – get life assurance cover to the value of two times your annual pensionable salary from day one.
Sharesave – put aside any amount between £5 and £250 each month for three years and buy M&S shares at a 20% discount – or get your savings back.
Sharebuy – buy M&S shares on a monthly basis direct from your gross salary and build up an investment.
Salary Sacrifice – join one of our schemes covering holiday buying, car leasing and cycle to work.
Discounts – take advantage of over 1,500 special discounts covering holidays, leisure attractions and more.
Heath & Wellbeing – receive discounted healthcare products and a dedicated wellbeing website with top tips.
Charity Volunteer Day – volunteer for one day at a charity of your choice.
AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS
Industry recognition is a nice bonus. Most of all because it’s an acknowledgement of how well our people have done. Whether it’s Which? Supermarket of the Year 2017 or an award for our charity and community work, we’re delighted to be considered and we’re proud of the teams involved. If we can bring out the best in our people and give younger people a better start in their careers, that’s incredibly rewarding – and something we’ll continue to do.Awards & Recognitions
LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT
A constantly evolving business requires its people to grow with it. Our comprehensive training and coaching programme will improve your confidence and equip you with all the skills you need for a Digital First future. Whatever your role, wherever your ambition lies, we’ll tailor your training to meet your needs, giving you all the support you need to do your job well. Our induction programme for new starters lasts between one and two weeks, depending on your experience. You’ll get a basic overview of our business, along with everything you need to feel passionate, inspired and excited about your new role with us.
Our Plan A initiative will help us become the world’s most sustainable major retailer. Our ultimate goals are to combat climate change, reduce waste, use sustainable raw materials, trade ethically and help our customers to lead healthier lifestyles.
Find out more about Plan AFind out more about Plan A
SMARTER WORKING MEETS YOUR LIFESTYLE
We recognise that, whatever job you do or whatever level you're at, you need to strike a balance between your work life and your home life. Our smarter working approach means we are flexible and open in how we work to deliver for our customers. We support a range of options, from part-time and shift work, to job sharing and term-time working.
We also offer a career break scheme, with up to nine months’ unpaid leave. This is in addition to leave for a wide range of different circumstances, including adoption, IVF treatment, annual training exercises for the armed forces, and more.
READY TO APPLY?
Simply click the button below. If you have a disability or learning difficulty and require alternative arrangements, please call us on 0845 300 3725 so we can assess your needs. Alternatively, contact your preferred store directly to discuss your personal circumstances.