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Pick n Pay

Graduate Program

Start your fresh life-changing journey with us.

Our Graduate Program

We put a lot of time and thought into the design of our graduate program to ensure that it has the greatest impact for the business and the graduates who are participating on the program. Our program is not only designed around providing the business with the right mix of people and skills at the right time but also providing graduates with a set of skills and a mind-set that will position them for a successful career in any industry.

Although there is a great amount of focus on a graduate’s first 12 months in the company whilst they are developing their grounding in the business, once a graduate is placed permanently into the business their development will continue to be deepened.

The first 12 months of the Graduate Program

There are two main graduate streams which help graduates focus their learning in a particular area of the business, a Commercial/Merchant stream and a Store Operations stream. Typically the Commercial/Merchant stream is for graduates working in the areas of Buying, Demand Planning, Supply Chain/Logistics, Marketing and Finance. The Store Operations stream is for graduates working in roles based in our store management teams.

Graduates from both of these streams complete a formal retail program through our graduate development school delivered in partnership with recognised industry experts. This part of the program gives graduates exposure to benchmark standards and process and immerses them in the retail value chain from end to end.

Whilst completing the formal program graduates are placed into the areas of the business they are destined to work in on successful completion of their first 12 months. Graduates report directly to a line manager who is responsible for managing their day to day activities and ensuring they are exposed to all aspects of the business. This is where the real life of work is experienced and graduates are quickly brought into teams where they are expected to add value from early on in their program. Learning in this area is clearly defined and allows both graduate and manager to assess progress, identify areas for development and to plan for success. Regular progress discussions are held between line managers, graduates, coaches and HR business partners to ensure that goals are met and additional resources are made available where needed.

Even though graduates are placed within a particular area of the business our program ensures that they are exposed to all areas of the business through a range of activities designed to enhance their understanding and give them deep insight into particular areas of the business.

Even though graduates are placed within a particular area of the business our program ensures that they are exposed to all areas of the business through a range of activities designed to enhance their understanding and give them deep insight into particular areas of the business.

These activities include:

  • Focus session with the Chairman of Pick n Pay
  • Focus session with the CEO of Pick n Pay
  • Retail Store Immersion
  • Group discussion with the Managing Director of Retail
  • Group meetings with individual members of the Group Executive
  • Insight presentations by subject matter experts from different functional areas within the business
  • Supplier visits and presentations
  • Full digital retail business simulation

With such a fast paced and full program graduates also need some time to reflect and get some advice on the more subtle issues of the world of work. During the program graduates have the opportunity of selecting a mentor that will partner with them and support them over the course of the program and beyond with feedback and advice. Having a mentor to support you through the first months in the world of work can often make the difference between acceptable performance and exceptional performance.

After the first 12 months

Once a graduate has successfully completed year one of the program and has been selected for permanent appointment they become part of the company’s formal talent program. This means we track their progress within the business closely, include them in talent reviews, support them with regular career conversations and encourage their line managers to formalize career development plans for each person.

Meet some of our current graduates here.

Applications are now closed