Intense interest in Lidl's 'grow our own managers' programme

Future middle managers have until Saturday to apply for Lidl's unique new degree programme
Gary McDonald Business Editor

WHEN it comes to identifying and nurturing future senior management, talent-spotters at retail giant Lidl believe they are now "properly growing our own".

For at a time when retail industry is facing a myriad of challenges, the German-owned chain is vying to future-proof itself like never before with a unique management degree programme pitched a level about raw graduates.

And the company's Irish human resources head Maeve McCleane says interest for the 40 places up for grabs on the all-new degree programme has been "phenomenal".

Would-be applications for the course, which is pitched at retail and logistics managers with a minimum of two years' experience, have only until Saturday to apply for a place, and making the cut could be difficult given the already intense interest.

"This isn't about something for those just out of uni, because there are lots of programmes available for those at graduate level," Maeve said.

"We identified a gap in the market for a programme to provide already-experienced retail and logistics managers hungry to progress their career with the chance to attain a degree all while receiving on-the-job experience and a full salary.

"We're calling it ‘Feed Your Mind' and it's unique to the Lidl team in Ireland, representing a £2 million investment by the company. But we know it will deliver for us.

“This really is an exceptional opportunity for those in the early stages of retail management - whether within Lidl or at any other retailer - who want to fast track their career with one of the world's most ambitious global retailers, one with 190 stores and warehouses in Ireland, including 38 in the north.

“People are our greatest asset, and we're opening the doors on the wealth of experienced management personnel and mentors we already have within the business to new and rising staff."

She added: "The programme, starting in October, is new and suited to the modern world, with participants learning as they earn and who will benefit from a blended learning structure of in-store working, mentoring and online academic learning, all underpinned by an attractive salary."

Delivered in conjunction with Ulster University and Irish Times Training, the comprehensive two-year programme will expose the 40 applicants who make the cut after Saturday's deadline to Lidl's leading retailer approach as well as providing a university-accredited Foundation Degree in Management Practice with Specialism in Retail.

Maeve added: "This programme is something we believe will work for us. More employees are recognising the importance of a so-called 'emotional salary', where they see the company is interested in them and their development, and in return they commit to that organisation.

"So for Lidl this programme is about future proofing and retention."

:: For more information and to apply for the programme visit

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