Graduates

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About Us

Aldi is one of the fastest-growing grocery retailers in the UK and we’re No.2 in the Times Top 100 ‘Best Graduate Employers’ for 2017. It’s a position that no other retailer has been able to match. So what makes the Aldi difference?

Well, let’s start with campus gossip. You’ve probably heard that we give our graduates a fantastic package (including an Audi A4) and that it’s ‘really hard work’. These things are true but you need to check out the rest of the story. We’re a responsible employer who thrives on giving graduates unparalleled exposure, training and support. We challenge our graduates because we want them to do well - but we’re with you every step of the way. You’re critical to the future success of our business. In fact, most of our Directors (even our CEO) started out as an Area Manager.

The programme lasts for twelve months and, yes, it’s tough. But you’ll be hungry for responsibility and confident in your capabilities. Much of your success is about earning the trust of your store team. In the early days, they’ll teach you the ins and outs of store life (including stacking shelves) – it’s the only way to understand the challenges they face. Once you’ve understood how the store works and start to manage the whole operation then, crucially, your team will be happy to take guidance from you. The programme moves fast. By week 14, you could hold the keys to at least one store. Eventually, you could be running your own £multi-million business.

Check out ‘A Year Like No Other’ for a more detailed breakdown of all that’s to come. And then? Well, it gets really exciting. Take a look at our films which follow the lives of Gus and Sam who are now experienced Area Managers.

Want the lowdown on a year like no other?

Then download the brochure right here.

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

  • Day 1

    Day 1

    You’ll meet your Directors and your new boss. They’ll outline exactly what’s expected from you and prepare you for the year ahead.

  • Weeks 1-2

    Weeks 1-2

    An experienced colleague will help you get to grips with the Area Manager role and they’ll become your mentor throughout your training.

  • Weeks 3-13

    Weeks 3-13

    Time to roll up your sleeves. You’ll be stacking shelves with colleagues, getting to know our products, finding out about customer service and learning our unique approach to store management. With a week’s holiday squeezed in. Phew.

  • Week 14

    Week 14

    You’ll have a week’s holiday to relax, absorb all that knowledge and think about the great start you’ve made at Aldi.

  • Weeks 15-24

    Weeks 15-24

    We’ll give you the keys to a store. Once the detailed training’s done, you’ll take ownership over a set list of responsibilities. Then it’s time to put theory into practice within the store environment.

  • Weeks 25-28

    Weeks 25-28

    Taking charge of your own £multi-million business for a threeweek cover, you’ll plan the rota, order over 1,500 products and manage your own team. You’ll then present your achievements to the Store Operations Director.

  • Week 29

    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 30-34

    Week 30-34

    You’ll spend the next five weeks learning the ins and outs of the Area Manager role, with plenty of support from your Aldi mentor.

  • Week 35

    Week 35

    Bit of a change now as you visit workshops hosted by our regional experts. You’ll get to know everything from Health & Safety and HR processes, to Ordering and Availability.

  • Weeks 36-37

    Weeks 36-37

    Our huge network of stores relies 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 38

    Week 38

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

  • Weeks 39-45

    Weeks 39-45

    During the next five weeks, you’ll be assessed on a variety of technical tasks, as well as your leadership ability. Mixing the two is vital for your development, so you can motivate and engage the teams around you.

  • Week 46

    Week 46

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

  • Weeks 47- 51

    Weeks 47- 51

    Ready to look after an Area? This is five weeks of inat- 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.

  • Week 52

    Week 52

    It’s time for your final review and we’ll look at how far you’ve come. By now, you should be full of confidence as you take responsibility for your own group of stores.

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What happens in Year Two and beyond?

Year Two is a pretty special time. You’ve done all the groundwork, and you’re now a fully-fledged Area Manager. Because things move so quickly, you’ll have gained an incredible amount of experience and you’re completely ready for the next challenge. During years two, three and beyond, you’ll take full control of your area. And, with world-class training under your belt, you’ll be more than ready.

 

Every stage of your Area Manager journey will feature two things: a massive focus on people and a real pride in your stores. You’ll spend much of your time visiting your stores and getting weekly updates from your Store Managers. How’s the store doing? How are the team working together? If you spot any areas for improvement, you’ll be quick off the mark to put effective solutions in place.

Because we’re growing so fast, it’s likely that you’ll spend one day a week on recruitment and development: interviewing candidates, having updates with new starters, mentoring Trainee Area Managers, that kind of thing.  The success of an Aldi store is all down to the quality of its people, and you’ll receive plenty of training on how to recruit the perfect team. And one thing’s for sure, your employees will become like an extended family. 

 

Then there’s the financial planning, monitoring of KPIs, checking cash handling, merchandising, auditing… all kinds of challenges and demands will come your way. There’s always plenty to learn and you’re constantly growing as a Manager. Plus you’ll be part of a network of Area Managers who are all going through similar challenges, so there’s always someone to offer advice.

 

One or two years into the programme, you could be offered a placement in the UK or abroad, or an opportunity to do some project work that will take you outside of your normal operating function. Like the chance to explore more efficient technology, or roll out new functionality across the region. These are the projects that will give you an even greater appreciation of store life and an excellent foundation for your future career at Aldi.

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What does an experienced Area Manager do

It varies massively as you can imagine. But Sam and Gus’ stories will give you an idea. They wanted to be part of a business that offered amazing career prospects, second-to-none training, and invaluable support. They wanted to learn fast and rise quickly. Sam was originally torn between Aldi and the Army (we’re delighted she chose Aldi) and Gus trained as a teacher. They were both intrigued by the Aldi story and have now spent a few years in the role. You can watch their videos right here.  

Benefits

When you work at Aldi, 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. We want to make sure that you’re happy, fulfilled and proud to work for us.

£44,000 starting salary

Your generous starting wage will rise in stages to £73,450 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.

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.

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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 video to learn more about our environment, then try the quiz to see if you could be an ‘Aldi’ person.

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We're rather proud of what we do and how we do it. Come and take a look.

If you're frantically nodding away to all the points below, maybe it's time to take the 'Like' test.

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 focused and committed but you have a strong work ethic. You’re excited by every new challenge that comes your way.

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.

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 who enjoys the challenges of a dynamic and fast-paced environment. This means working a five day week, including some weekends, as well as overseeing store operations from opening or closing.

A driving licence

Finally, you'll need a driving licence since part of our generous package includes a car.

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Meet our Area Managers and Directors

The Area Manager Programme is a critical part of our business, which is why we’re extremely focused on your future. In fact, at the moment, 90% of our Directors were previously Area Managers at various locations across the UK. So you know that Aldi will absolutely invest in your progression. In our eyes, everybody is valued and everyone has an important role to play. This creates a really positive environment that enables people to thrive. 

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.

Sophie

HR Administration Director
Lancaster University
Joined Aldi 2012

The Area Manager Programme is a critical part of our business, which is why we’re extremely focused on your future. In fact, at the moment, 90% of our Directors were previously Area Managers at various locations across the UK. So you know that Aldi will absolutely invest in your progression. In our eyes, everybody is valued and everyone has an important role to play. This creates a really positive environment that enables people to thrive. 

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.

Isobel

Area Manager
Durham University
Joined Aldi 2013

The Area Manager Programme is a critical part of our business, which is why we’re extremely focused on your future. In fact, at the moment, 90% of our Directors were previously Area Managers at various locations across the UK. So you know that Aldi will absolutely invest in your progression. In our eyes, everybody is valued and everyone has an important role to play. This creates a really positive environment that enables people to thrive. 

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.

Josh

Operations Director
Manchester University
Joined Aldi 2012

The Area Manager Programme is a critical part of our business, which is why we’re extremely focused on your future. In fact, at the moment, 90% of our Directors were previously Area Managers at various locations across the UK. So you know that Aldi will absolutely invest in your progression. In our eyes, everybody is valued and everyone has an important role to play. This creates a really positive environment that enables people to thrive. 

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.

Fritz

Group Buying Director
Manchester University
Joined Aldi 2006

The Area Manager Programme is a critical part of our business, which is why we’re extremely focused on your future. In fact, at the moment, 90% of our Directors were previously Area Managers at various locations across the UK. So you know that Aldi will absolutely invest in your progression. In our eyes, everybody is valued and everyone has an important role to play. This creates a really positive environment that enables people to thrive. 

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.

Belinda

Group Buying Director
Exeter University
Joined Aldi 2008

The Area Manager Programme is a critical part of our business, which is why we’re extremely focused on your future. In fact, at the moment, 90% of our Directors were previously Area Managers at various locations across the UK. So you know that Aldi will absolutely invest in your progression. In our eyes, everybody is valued and everyone has an important role to play. This creates a really positive environment that enables people to thrive. 

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.

Laura

Group HR Director
Durham University
Joined Aldi 2006

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Where will you fit in?





Have a scroll through to learn how different roles work together, and where you’ll fit in.

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 9 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.

 

    • 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. The Distribution Centre has recently relocated to Bolton in 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

      Opening in 2015, this region covers stores in the East Midlands and South Yorkshire. 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.

  • Germany

    • Back in 1961, the Albrecht brothers split the business into two groups: Aldi Nord (North) and Aldi Süd (South). The latter (which includes Aldi UK) consists of over 5,000 stores. Did you know that Aldi Süd was the first big retailer in Europe to ban eight pesticides that were found hazardous to bees?

  • Austria

    • We opened our doors in 1968. We’ve got 457 stores, 7 Distribution Centres and 9,073 employees. Plus, we have 237 home-grown organic products and environmentally friendly cleaning products in our range. And, as of the beginning of 2016, we’ve been operating entirely carbon-neutral.

  • America

    • In 1976, one year after our 500th Aldi South store opened, Aldi US officially launched. We now have 1,500 stores across 34 states, plus recent expansion into California. This is where we initially launched our new concept store called ‘Aldi Food Market’ with fresh food and extensive chilled ranges at the heart of the offer.

  • Ireland

    • As of 1999, we’ve been taking Ireland by storm. We’re committed to supporting Irish suppliers, with over half of our product range sourced locally. And they’ve proven a real hit, gaining a number of awards. Split into two regions – Naas and Mitchelstown – our RDCs service over 120 stores across the country.

  • Australia

    • Opened in 2001, we’ve got 400 stores serviced by 6 Distribution Centres. 91% of Aldi Australia’s fresh fruit and veg are grown within the country. Now that’s some sustainable sourcing. We were also the first Australian supermarket to join the Supplier Ethical Data Exchange (Sedex) which ensures more ethical practices in our supply chain.

  • Switzerland

    • Opened in 2005, we’ve got 180 stores, 3 Distribution Centres and 2,410 employees. The first new store triggered a rush of bargain-hunters in one of the world’s most expensive countries. The car park at Altenrhein was full within 30 minutes!

  • Slovenia

    • Just like our Swiss stores, we opened in 2005. Although smaller in scale – we still have 78 stores, 1 Distribution Centre and 1,364 employees. The stores carry around 700 food lines, including typical Slovenian products.

  • Hungary

    • We threw our doors open in 2008, across 107 stores, 1 Distribution Centre and with the help of 1,883 employees. So far, we’ve won two ‘Superbrands’ awards (2014 and 2016). These awards recognise quality retailing in Hungary.

  • Hong Kong

    • Not many people know we’re in Asia, but here we are. In 2012, we opened the Corporate Responsibility Unit Asia in Hong Kong. Not only does it realise our CR goals in the continent, it also helps to forge closer relationships with our suppliers.

How about an International Secondment?

Leanne - Buying Director. Studied Management & Marketing at Manchester University. Joined Aldi in 2010.

After a few years, for those who really impress us, there’s the chance to do a secondment in Europe, the US or even Australia. It means you’ll soak up different Aldi cultures, bring fresh ideas back to the UK, and take your personal and professional development up a gear. You see, although you’ll be familiar with our business, you’ll be pushed out of your comfort zone and given a new platform to show everyone how capable you are.

 

And while it’s the same job on paper, it’s likely that you’ll find yourself learning from scratch. That’s down to the subtle and not so subtle variances in cultures and operating markets. One way or another, it will require a real sense of adventure, resilience and open-mindedness. Why not take a look at Leanne’s story?

 

Read more

Leanne – Buying Director 

“I was an Area Manager in the UK and a District Manager in the States, in Haines City, Florida. It’s essentially the same job but it was surprising just how different the US business was. For instance, it was a new challenge to get to grips with US employment law. Aldi US also has a different culture in terms of food shopping and customer service too, so there are always new things to learn.

“Many of the daily challenges, however, were very familiar to me. I spent my time visiting stores, developing people, coaching managers, opening new stores and training District and Store Managers. Plus everyone had the same Aldi approach and personal traits, which I found reassuring.

“It was a great opportunity to work and live in a place such as Florida, and to experience the business from a completely fresh perspective. Going on a secondment presents such a fantastic opportunity both personally and professionally and, to get the most out of it, you need to be tough, brave and adaptable to change. There’s a lot to digest if you’re not open to it.

“Aldi keeps getting bigger in the US. Our profile’s increasing – as is the market share – so it was a great time to be part of it all. In fact, it’s definitely one of my career highlights."

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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.

 

Application Stages

Online Application

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

 

 

Online test

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.

 

 

Video Application

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 above.

Group Assessment

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!

 

 

Final Interview

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!

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FAQs

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Event Calendar

Why not meet us in person? You can find out some great information, and even chat to current graduates at a whole range of events. To help you find the event nearest to you, we’ve put together this nifty little calendar. We’ve also included important dates such as application deadlines, which you can then put into your diary.

  • October

    4th October 2017
    Scottish Graduate Fair
    Scottish Graduate Fair SECC Glasgow
    4th October 2017
    Careers Fair
    Aston University
    10th October 2017
    Careers Fair
    Edinburgh University
    10th October 2017
    Careers Fair
    Dundee University
    10th October 2017
    Autumn Careers Fair
    Cardiff University
    11th October 2017
    Careers Fair
    University of Birmingham
    11th October 2017
    Careers Fair
    University of Bristol
    11th October 2017
    Autumn Careers & Placements Fair
    University of Surrey
    11th October 2017
    Careers Fair
    Liverpool University
    12th October 2017
    Autumn Careers Fair
    University of Warwick
    12th October 2017
    North of Scotland Graduate Recruitment Fair
    Aberdeen University
    12th October 2017
    Careers Fair
    Swansea University
    12th October 2017
    Business and Management Fair
    London School of Economics
    13th October 2017
    Careers Fair
    University of St Andrews
    16th October 2017
    Graduate Fair
    University of Sheffield
    17th October 2017
    Careers and Placements Fair
    University of Exeter
    17th October 2017
    Careers and Placements Fair
    University of York
    17th October 2017
    Graduate Jobs and Placements Fair
    Newcastle University
    17th October 2017
    Graduate Jobs Fair
    Huddersfield University
    18th October 2017
    Careers Fair
    Glasgow Caledonian
    18th October 2017
    Meet the Employers Fair
    University of the West of England
    18th October 2017
    Engineering, Informatics, Management and Law Fair
    University of Bradford
    18th October 2017
    Finance, Consulting and Management Fair
    Nottingham University
    19th October 2017
    Graduate Recruitment Fair
    Edge Hill University
    19th October 2017
    Careers & Placement Fair
    University of Reading
    19th October 2017
    Recruitment and Opportunities Fair
    University of East Anglia
    19th October 2017
    Autumn Careers Fair
    University of Bath
    19th October 2017
    Careers Fair
    Southampton University
    23rd October 2017
    Autumn Graduate Recruitment & Placement Fair
    Loughborough University
    24th October 2017
    Business, Finance and Banking Careers Fair
    Cardiff Metropolitan University
    25th October 2017
    Business, Finance & Consultancy Fair
    Leicester University
    25th October 2017
    Placements Fair
    Aston University
    25th October 2017
    Careers & Internship Fair
    Durham University
    25th October 2017
    Careers Fair
    Keele University
    26th October 2017
    Edinburgh Napier University
    Careers Fair
    26th October 2017
    The Hallam Careers Fair
    Sheffield Hallam
    31st October 2017
    Placement and Graduate Careers Fair
    Plymouth University
    31st October 2017
    University of Hull
    Graduate Recruitment Fair
  • November

    1st November 2017
    Business, Finance and Consultancy Fair
    University of Birmingham
    1st November 2017
    Placements Fair
    Liverpool John Moores
    3rd November 2017
    Careers Fair
    National Graduate Recruitment Exhibition
    7th November 2017
    Placement & Careers Fair
    Northumbria University
    9th November 2017
    Careers Fair
    University of South Wales
    9th November 2017
    Military Employment Fair
    Military Employment Fair- Telford
    16th November 2017
    Careers & Opportunities Fair 2017
    University of Bolton
    22nd November 2017
    Service Sector Careers Fair
    Bournemouth University
    23rd November 2017
    Military Employment Fair
    Military Employment Fair- Catterick
  • January

    25th January 2018
    Military Employment Fair
    Military Employment Fair- Aldershot
  • March

    1st March 2018
    Military Employment Fair
    Military Employment Fair Catterick
  • May

    17th May 2018
    Military Employment Fair
    Military Employment Fair Edinburgh
  • July

    12th July 2018
    Military Employment Fair
    Military Employment Fair Stafford
  • November

    22nd November 2018
    Military Employment Fair
    Military Employment Fair Catterick

Can't wait any longer? Go for it. You should be aware that we may ask you to consider working in a location other than your initial preference.  Please note we are currently accepting applications for all of our regions except BATHGATE.  Please keep an eye on the website for more details.