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Tesco increases the intake on its graduate scheme by 25%

As it celebrates the 20th anniversary of its graduate scheme, Tesco has significantly increased the intake in its 2010/11 programme to 240 compared with 191 in 2009/10 - a 25% increase.

The scheme now offers roles across 17 different programmes and the broad range of opportunities shows just how much the supermarket chain has evolved since the first Tesco graduate scheme was launched in 1990. It also demonstrates the increasing number of opportunities in the retail industry for today’s university leavers. 


The sector is now the second largest graduate employer after the NHS and Social Services, and there has been a 23% year-on-year increase of graduates beginning their careers in this sector compared to the financial services industry which has seen a 10% decline (Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA)).

The scheme was launched in 1990, when new recruits entered on one of two programmes –store or commercial. 

Today Tesco graduates enter one of 17 programmes such as stores, distribution, property, product technology and corporate affairs.

Tesco recruited 100 graduates to the first programme in 1990 compared with 240 today. They can expect a starting salary of up to £28,000 compared with £12,000 in 1990.

Lucy Neville-Rolfe, corporate and legal affairs director at Tesco, said: "We are delighted to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Tesco graduate scheme. The company has seen significant growth since the programme began in 1990 and this is reflected in the opportunities on offer at Tesco. 

"The diversity of the business allows graduates to work across different industries and disciplines and even countries. The graduate programme brings talent into all areas of the business, which is why we offer roles across 17 different programmes.

"Today’s graduates are paramount to the continued success of Tesco and, as such, we invest a huge amount of resource into training and development. We also encourage Tesco graduates to grow their careers within the company by providing continuous opportunities for professional development. The Tesco scheme gives graduates access to this exciting industry across a structured programme within an increasingly diverse company."