Director of HR – Talent, Learning & Development, Musgrave
Head of Resourcing, Musgrave
Anne Marie Lynch
Learning Co-ordinator, Musgrave
Working in retail means being part of a fast-moving industry that offers world-class development and training opportunities — with a variety of exciting roles and career paths.
Looking for an exciting and diverse career? One that’s challenging and rewarding? Then look no further than the retail sector insists Anne Rigney, Director of HR, Talent, Learning and Development at Musgrave, the food retail, wholesale and food service Group behind the SuperValu, Centra and Donnybrook Fair brands. “There are hardly two days ever the same in the world of retail — never mind two weeks,” she says.
Importance of the retail sector
We sometimes forget that retail is the backbone of the economy; although, in the era of Covid-19, people have come to appreciate just how indispensable the sector is. “Retail is one of the most dynamic industries I know; and during the pandemic, the importance of the work we do really came to the fore,” says Rigney.
During this time, employees in SuperValu, Centra and Donnybrook Fair ensured everyone had access to food and went above and beyond to help people in their communities. Working in retail offers an opportunity to be part of a great team that makes a big impact.
Passionate about sustainability issues
Retail is a critical industry, but it’s also a fascinating one because it constantly finds innovative ways to deal with important emerging trends. “For example, sustainability is an area we’re passionate about,” says Rigney. “Consumers are more interested now in buying local, sustainable living, less food waste and better packaging options. We are constantly adapting to meet and exceed shopper expectations.”
Perhaps it’s the sheer variety of the sector that makes it popular as a career choice. Take SuperValu, Centra and Donnybrook Fair, which offers a range of job options from fresh food specialists to store management.
Employees can join stores at junior levels and work their way up to senior store manager positions. “If they have the ambition, they can even own a store, becoming a business entrepreneur in a local community,” says Rigney.
Eileen Biggs, Head of Resourcing, adds: “Employees often join from other sectors, and we provide them with excellent learning and development, enabling them to reach their full potential in the retail industry.”
Employees can join stores at junior levels and work their way up to senior store manager positions.
Developing employees to be the best
The modern retail sector understands the importance of constantly developing employees. Rigney points out that a range of development programmes are available to employees — from customer service to leadership programmes. Many of these courses are run virtually so that they are easily accessible to employees from every part of the country.
In conjunction with TU Dublin (Technological University Dublin), the Group runs a higher certificate, ordinary and honours degree programme, so some employees can gain a third-level qualification while working. “The programmes are built on the foundation of an apprenticeship-type model of ‘earning while learning’,” says Rigney.
“Employees can work full-time and attend lectures with TU Dublin on a part-time basis. After four years, they receive an Honours Degree in Retail Management.” Anne Marie Lynch, Learning Coordinator adds: “It’s proving popular, too, with more than 70 colleagues signing up for these programmes each year.”
Expanding career paths and opportunity
“Other programmes within the Group include a Butchery Apprenticeship Programme in Cork, Dublin and Galway, run in conjunction with the ACBI (Associated Craft Butchers of Ireland). Similarly, junior managers can undertake the Retail Supervisory Apprenticeship, run in conjunction with Retail Ireland Skillsnet,” says Lynch.
The Group has successfully piloted its first Bakery Programme where, after six months, employees can qualify as fully certified bakers. The Group has also successfully launched Driver and Data Academies, providing accredited learning opportunities in these critical skill areas. “We will continue to expand the breadth of our career paths, accredited programmes and a suite of learning programmes,” says Rigney. Biggs adds: “There is a great diversity of roles currently available across Musgrave and our brands, so check our careers sites today.”