Graduates

Want the lowdown on a year like no other?

Then download the brochure right here.

About Us

Aldi is the fastest-growing supermarket in the UK today and we regularly jostle for the top spot in the Times Top 100’s ‘Best Graduate Employers’. All graduates enter our Area Manager Programme. It’s earned quite a bit of kudos around campus, and not just because of the great package and Audi A4. This is a fast, tough programme that gives you an enormous amount of responsibility very early on.

Our ‘A year like no other’ section gives you a detailed breakdown of the programme, but the thing to remember is this: you won’t be the newbie watching from afar. You’ll get stuck into store life from day one - unloading pallets, stacking shelves and keeping everything running smoother than smooth. Everyone will be working very hard because that’s the Aldi way. We’re a tight team and we love giving 100%.

By week 14, you’ll be running the show as we’ll give you the keys to your own store. That means managing people who’ve been there for years, taking control of processes, organising our award-winning stock and proving to everyone that you’re a fantastic, inspiring leader. At the end of the year, you’ll be given a whole area of up to four stores. Or, to put it another way: your own multi-million pound business.

Teach First

We’ve been working with the charity ‘Teach First’ since 2012. If you can’t immediately see the connection between teaching and fast-moving retail, do not fear. We’ll explain everything.

So, quick rewind to 2002 when Teach First began. They realised that the link between low family income and poor education is greater in the UK than in nearly any other developed country. Something needed to be done. 

Teach First created a Leadership Development Programme and, since 2002, have invited over 7,000 graduates to join. It’s a two-year scheme that gives talented individuals access to high-quality training, supportive coaching, work experience and a PGCE qualification. By working in some of the toughest schools across England and Wales, these graduates are helping to change the lives of thousands of young people.

Where does Aldi come in? We’ve been supporting Teach First since 2012 to recruit, train and place 25 teachers each year. We also offer the trainee teachers a two-week, paid summer placement in one of our stores. During this time individuals get to shadow Area Managers and acquire valuable tools and experience that they can take back to the classroom. They learn great leadership skills, how to get the best out of people, how to prioritise and make decisions, and how to inspire a team to perform certain tasks. 

The beauty of the programme is that once graduates have completed the two years, they have the chance to consider their options. Many graduates continue teaching; some want to pursue their relationship with Aldi (or another Teach First partner). It’s all about harnessing exceptional talent across different sectors and making a difference to people, where it really counts.  

Read More

A Year Like No Other. Explore the images to see what happens in your first 12 months.

  • Day 1

    A big welcome to Aldi. Day one is all about meeting your Directors and spending time with your new boss. They’ll help you outline exactly what’s expected from you and prepare you for that all-important year ahead.

    Day 1

  • Weeks 1-2

    You’ll spend this time understanding your new role with an experienced colleague who will become your mentor throughout your training.

    Weeks 1-2

  • Weeks 3-12

    Time to roll up your sleeves. There’s no point being a manager unless you know the nitty-gritty of store life. You’ll be meeting colleagues, stacking shelves, getting to know our products and learning our unique approach to customer service.

    Weeks 3-12

  • Week 13

    A chance to relax for a week, absorb all that knowledge and think about the great start you've made at Aldi.

    Week 13

  • Weeks 14-17

    We'll give you the keys to your own store. Once the detailed training's done, you'll show us how you can take control, smoothly run your own £multi-million business, and motivate your team around you.

    Weeks 14-17

  • Week 18

    Time for another week's well-earned holiday. And with a good wage coming in, you'll be able to holiday in style.

    Week 18

  • Weeks 19-28

    More keys to another store? Go on then. You know what to expect now so you're more than ready. The challenge is to keep it all running smoothly, never taking your eye off the ball for a minute.

    Weeks 19-28

  • Week 29

    Phew. Another breather. The programme's really gathering pace now so it's important to re-charge your batteries and just chill out for a week.

    Week 29

  • Week 30-31

    Our huge network of stores rely on a range of support operations. During your Regional Office Training, you'll get to know our Accounts, Trading and Business Administration teams and the kind of issues they handle.

    Week 30-31

  • Week 32

    Two weeks to learn everything you need to know about Logistics. You'll be the key link between Logistics and Operations, so it's important to understand both sides, inside and out.

    Week 32

  • Week 33

    It's holiday time again. A chance to reflect on the huge amount you've learned and feel very proud of yourself.

    Week 33

  • Weeks 34-45

    Out of store training. You'll start to expand your specialist areas now as you master everything from financial planning to store merchandising.

    Weeks 34-45

  • Week 46

    Some more rest, happy in the knowledge that you're near the finish line.

    Week 46

  • Weeks 47-51

    Ready to look after an Area? This is five weeks of in-at-the-deep-end exposure to life as an Area Manager. You'll cover for your colleagues while they're on holiday and really put your skills to the test.

    Weeks 47-51

  • Week 52

    Time for your final review. We'll take a long, hard look at how far you've come over the year. By now, you should be fully prepared and feeling confident to take responsibility for your own Area.

    Week 52

Benefits

We pride ourselves on clarity here at Aldi. Yes you’ll work hard, but you’ll see exactly how your efforts, determination and fresh ideas are shaping our wonderful business. We don’t offer average packages because we don’t employ average people. Everything’s all been designed to ensure that you’re happy, fulfilled and proud to work for us.

  • £42,000 starting salary

    Your generous starting wage will rise in stages to £72,000 after four years.

  • A fully expensed Audi A4

    A thing of beauty that’s for sure. It arrives on day one (so you’ll need a driving licence) but it comes as part of a tough and demanding role.

  • Opportunities to travel the world

    If you’re performing really well, we’ll suggest a UK, European or even international secondment (typically to the US or Australia). This tends to happen within your first four years.

  • Health & Lifestyle Package

    It’s important to us that you feel looked after, now and in the future. You’ll be given five weeks’ holiday every year plus bank holidays. There’s also a pension scheme, private healthcare (after 6 months) and life assurance. 

  • Training & Support

    You’re in at the deep end but you’ll have our full support and encouragement throughout the year – and beyond. We’re just that kind of business.

  • Your own £Multi-million Business

    This is the big one. As soon as you’re ready – which could be even less than a year – you’ll take full responsibility for three or four stores.

Who we're looking for

We wouldn’t be this successful without recruiting strong-minded, brave people to share our ambitions. We do have quite a specific culture. It’s well-managed, efficient and everyone works in harmony with a combined sense of purpose. Responsibilities are crystal clear and everyone knows what’s expected of them. The question is, do you have the kind of qualities we need? Take a look at our first video to learn more about our environment, then try the quiz to see if you could be an ‘Aldi’ person.

  • A 2:1 degree

    Alongside a minimum of 240 UCAS points (or 150 points for Scottish Highers) from your top 3 A levels/Scottish Highers, excluding general studies, this shows us you’re not only bright and committed but you have a strong work ethic. You’re excited by every new challenge that comes your way. Plus you've got the commitment to work a 50-hour week, which will include weekends.

  • Focused, resourceful and ready to drive productivity

    You’re always mindful of the bigger picture and can see how your efforts directly affect Aldi’s success. You’re a tough and resilient character.

  • That extra ‘sparkle’

    Bursting with charisma, you influence people around you with your passion and ideas. But you also treat your colleagues with decency and respect; you understand that we’re stronger together.

  • A driving licence

    Finally, if you don’t have a driving licence you’ll be positively beaming in your new car, yet rather stationary. Could be embarrassing.  

Where will the role take you?

Graduates are incredibly important to Aldi and often become Directors or even MDs within the business. This programme provides intensive training in terms of our culture, the way we work and the challenges we face, so it’s a superb foundation for future success. Once you’ve been an Area Manager, you’re armed with the knowledge, the empathy and the ‘wider lens’ to make the very best business decisions later on in your career.

Meet our Area Managers

Every Area Manager approaches their responsibilities differently but there are plenty of core traits that shine through: ambition, resilience and a fierce determination to succeed.

Meet our Directors

Our people achieve success through their own merit and their ability to win the respect of others. There are no egos here. We love doing business with honesty and integrity, and we’re led by people who have Aldi’s best interests at heart.

Where are we?

There are new stores (and store extensions) opening all the time. But right now, the picture looks something like this. The UK’s divided up into 8 Aldi regions. Each region has its own Head Office led by a Managing Director, a group of Directors and our wonderful team of Administrators. Importantly, each region also has its own Regional Distribution Centre (or RDC) which takes care of the flow of goods, ensuring that our customers get all their favourite things on time.

As an Area Manager, you’ll report to the Store Operations Director and look after the people, processes, efficiencies and targets of 3 to 4 stores. The Store Managers (with their team of Assistant and Deputy Managers, as well as Store and Stock Assistants) will be looking to you for guidance and leadership. You’ll also be the valuable link between these stores and the warehouse teams back at the RDC.

  • Bathgate

    With our Scottish distribution centre opening in 2004, our store numbers have gone from strength to strength. We stock over 200 items in our Scottish stores that you won’t find in the UK. 25% of our product range is actually sourced in Scotland, with great products that include haggis and Scottish cod.

  • Darlington

    Opening in 1995, Darlington is one of our most established regions. From Newcastle to York and Sunderland, we cover the entire North and North-East of England. With no less than 55 wonderful Aldi stores, we’re keeping lots of customers happy - and lots of staff, too. Darlington’s Managing Director has been with us for over 25 years, which is a true testament to what’s on offer at Aldi.

  • Bolton

    This region was opened as our second Distribution Centre back in 1991 based in Middleton, Manchester. It might cover the smallest geographical area, but it’s still incredibly busy due to the density of stores that opened in the City of Manchester and its surrounding areas. This Distribution Centre is currently relocating to Bolton to a brand-new, purpose-built site.

  • Neston

    This region opened in 2006 and covers a vast area: Liverpool, the Western coastal areas and Cheshire. We even share responsibility for Wales, looking after the Northern part of the country.

  • Atherstone

    We're rather fond of this region, as this is where it all began for Aldi in the UK. Our very first store opened in Stechford (Birmingham) on 5th April 1990. Our Corporate Head Office functions, including IT, Corporate Responsibility, Buying and Central Finance & Administration, are also located on the Atherstone site.

  • Chelmsford

    Opening in 2000, this region covers a broad geographic area across the South-East. It runs from Lincolnshire to the South coast, and includes most of London. We’re planning even more expansion (particularly into London) so even more customers will get to sample our delights.

  • Swindon

    Swindon is the UK’s largest Aldi region, with some of the busiest stores in the country. Opening in 1998, it covers the majority of the South of England. At the moment, it also includes South Wales and the South West of England. However, this is set to change. Eventually, these areas will move to our new regional distribution centre in Cardiff. All very exciting. If you’re looking for an opportunity in South Wales or the South West – please select Cardiff on your application.

  • Naas

    Ireland

  • Mitchelstown

    Ireland

  • Goldthorpe

    Our purpose-built Regional Distribution Centre has transformed the way we service many of our successful stores. There are all kinds of opportunities in this area ranging from Warehouse Operations and Store Accounts, to Finance & Admin and Quality Control. It’s a mixed bag of delights to suit many different skills. We’d love to see where you’d fit in.

  • Cardiff

    We’re very busy working away on our brand new Cardiff regional distribution centre. It’s all set to open at the beginning of 2017 and we can’t wait. It will look after all of the stores in South Wales and the South West of England which are expanding rapidly. Please select Cardiff if you’re looking for a job in South Wales or the South West of England.

Application Process

So you’re ready to apply. We recruit all year round, but spaces go very quickly (particularly in the Autumn) and it’s really competitive. However, if you’re the kind of person we’re after, that won’t put you off. In fact, you’ll be thinking ‘bring it on’. You should be aware that we may ask you to consider working in a location other than your initial preference.

  • Step One

    You’ll need to complete an online application and various tests that will assess your judgement and your analytical skills.

  • Step Two

    You’ll be sent a link to complete an online psychometric test. This has been designed to measure your core skills and personal qualities, to see if we’re right for each other.

  • Step Three

    Lights, camera, action. It’s all about you. This is a chance to impress us in a five-minute video called ‘Who am I?’. Show us you’re a determined, charismatic leader who we couldn’t do without. We understand that filming this kind of thing can be daunting for some, so we’ve included a helpful film clip below.

  • Step Four

    Group Assessment is hard. You’ve got to work as a team, but still let us know that you’ve done your homework about Aldi and that you’re a natural leader. It’s a fair and consistent process, but make your presence known!

  • Step Five

    Well, you’re nearly there. If you’ve passed everything else, you’ll then have a final interview with your Regional Managing Director, so make sure you’re prepared!

FAQs

  • When’s the best time to apply? Are there any opening or closing dates?

    As soon as possible! We do recruit all year round but spaces go very quickly, particularly in the Autumn.

  • If I'm not successful this time round, could I reapply?

    If you've already applied but not been successful, you’ll need to wait 12 months before reapplying. But you’re welcome to apply for other roles any time.

  • Will I need to relocate?

    Possibly, but usually only within your chosen region. We're a fast-growing business so it's important to have a flexible, understanding approach.

  • I have a Masters qualification but did not get a 2:1 in my degree, can I still apply?

    The minimum requirement for our Area Manager Scheme is a 2:1 degree. However we also have plenty of other management opportunities within our stores with further information available on our website.

  • Besides my academic qualifications, what else will I need?

    A full driving licence and a valid UK work permit.

  • I don’t have a business or retail degree, and I haven’t got experience in management. Is that ok?

    We ask for a minimum of 240 UCAS points, points from your top 3 A levels, excluding general studies, (or the equivalent accreditations such as BTECs and BACs). And, in terms of degree, we need a 2:1 in any discipline.

  • When and where will the group assessments and interviews be held?

    The group assessment and final MD interview will be held in the regional distribution centre that's closest to where you applied. If your application is successful, we'll let you know all the details nearer the time.

  • What will my working hours typically be?

    You’ll need to provide the very best support to your Store team. So that means working around 50 hours a week (this will involve weekends and Bank Holidays). We do ask for you to be flexible and we’ll accommodate your needs in return.

  • How many graduates are you looking to recruit?

    We recruit between 150 and 200 Area Managers every year, across the UK and Ireland. But this could change as our business continues to expand.

  • I've already graduated, can I still apply?

    Yes is the short answer. As long as you've met the criteria of course.

Event Calendar

20th April 2016
Christie Cup
University of Leeds (with Manchester and Liverpool)
26th April 2016
Graduate Recruitment Fair
University of Bath
27th April 2016
Yorkshire Graduate Recruitment Fair
University of Leeds
27th April 2016
Placement Fair
Loughborough University
27th April 2016
Summer Careers Fair 27th & 28th April 2016
University of Bristol
28th April 2016
Military Employment Fair
Scotland Employment Fair (Perth)
4th May 2016
Placement and Graduate Fair
Nottingham Trent University
5th May 2016
Preparation for Placements - Employability
Lancaster University
11th May 2016
Summer Recruitment Fair
University of Exeter
19th May 2016
Military Employment Fair
East Midlands Employment Fair
24th May 2016
Graduate Recruitment Fair
University of Edinburgh
6th June 2016
Graduate Job Fair
University of Nottingham
6th June 2016
Graduate Job Fair
University of Nottingham
6th June 2016
Summer Recruitment Day
University of York
13th June 2016
Newcastle Graduate Recruitment Fair
Newcastle University
15th June 2016
Graduate Recruitment Fair
University of Manchester
23rd June 2016
Summer Recruitment Event
University of Cambridge
28th June 2016
Summer Careers Fair
Warwick University
14th July 2016
Military Employment Fair
South East/East Employment Fair
14th July 2016
Military Employment Fair
Grantham Employment Fair
29th September 2016
Military Employment Fair
North West Employment Fair
14th October 2016
Management and Finance Fair
University of St Andrews
20th October 2016
Recruitment and Opportunities Fair
University of East Anglia
26th October 2016
Henley Business School Panel
University of Reading
4th November 2016
National Graduate Recruitment Exhibition 4th & 5th November 2016
NEC Birmingham
8th November 2016
Careers Fair
Northumbria University
17th November 2016
Military Employment Fair
West Midlands Employment Fair (Telford)
24th November 2016
Military Employment Fair
Catterick