Colruyt Group launches an innovative training programme for recent graduates

Colruyt Group is the first retailer to launch a customised training programme for young graduates with leadership potential. During “Start2Re-Tale”, sixteen young graduates will spend ten weeks from March 2017 learning about leadership, their own skills and talents, and the retail sector. Colruyt Group wants to bridge the gap between education and the labour market. The group is constantly in need of prospective managers, whilst many young graduates have difficulty finding their way around the labour market and do not always immediately think of retail. The programme requires full-time commitment from the participants. Afterwards, anyone who wants to can apply for a job within the group.


Added value for entering the labour market

Start2Re-Tale is a high quality, very wide-ranging training programme, with a combination of theory, lessons, workshops, internships and out of the box assignments in sales, logistics and support services. The participants acquire intensive knowledge about management and the retail sector within the context of Colruyt Group. They also get to know themselves better and experience whether management is for them via their talents and real life pitfalls. Either way, they are richer for this unique experience, with great added value for their first venture into the labour market. “Start2Re-Tale is an innovation in this market,” says Jan Van Holsbeke, sales division manager at OKay and the driving force behind the programme. “The programme positions itself as being somewhere between non-compulsory academic training such as postgraduate courses, and compulsory company traineeships. But it’s not necessarily a direct route to a job with us. At the end, successful participants will receive a certificate. Anyone who wants to can, of course, apply for a job within the group.”


Tailored to a specific target group

Colruyt Group has developed this route tailored to Bachelors and Masters who have the talent and ambition to lead. They must have graduated no more than two years earlier than January 2017. The group is also thinking about graduates with less obvious qualifications for the current labour market, such as in human rights for example. “They often don't find a job immediately and also don’t really know which direction they want to take,” explains Van Holsbeke. “And they’re certainly not ready to consider possibilities within the retail sector in general or Colruyt Group in particular. With Start2Re-Tale, we want to show young people that retail is a fascinating sector with a lot of opportunities for the future, and to enhance their potential by giving a new twist to their story.”


Commitment required

The training is optional but demands strong commitment from participants. They pay €350 and must be able to make themselves available full-time for ten weeks between March 27th and June 2nd 2017. Candidates must either be Dutch-speaking or very bilingual and must be able to travel easily to Leuven. After evaluating the pilot, the group wants to roll out the programme to several locations in autumn 2017 and also offer it in French. Candidates can enrol online at https://start2retale.colruytgroup.com and, after thorough screening, they may be invited for an interview to assess their motivation and skills.


A special vision about leadership

With nearly 1,750 managers currently employed and annual vacancies for some 150 managers, Colruyt Group is ideally placed to develop a training course for prospective young managers. “We have a clear vision about leadership. Furthermore, our Colruyt Group Academy has a lot of expertise in educating and training employees. Because of this, the Academy has been able to create a unique, high quality programme for young people with leadership potential. It offers clear added value for the participants and, in the longer term, for the attractiveness of the sector,” concludes Jan Van Holsbeke.

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