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Jamie Blyth at Lidl

Lidl is a discount German retailer that opened its first store in the UK in 1994. Since then the company has grown massively and currently has over 620 stores across the UK with 16,000 employees. Lidl is now the largest retailer in Europe and third largest worldwide.†

Iím currently studying Business Information Technology and I decided to take an industrial placement year to gain experience and make me more employable when I finish university. Lidlís placement scheme particularly stood out to me because it didnít offer just one job role. It offered the chance for me to see and train in every area of the business from store to warehouse, property, supply chain and admin. This would give me the opportunity to possibly train in an area I never would have thought of before and would help me decide my career path.†

My responsibilities varied throughout the placement year. Initially I undertook a basic training phase where I would train for a week or two in every department, this gave me a great overview of the business and how each department links with one another. I then chose a department to train in for 2 months and I chose the one I enjoyed the most which was working the in store. In these first 2 months my responsibilities ranged from serving customers at the tills, working the delivery of fresh stock, cleaning, checking the stock to make sure it was fresh, working in the bakery, rotating the stock to make sure the shortest date was at the front and discounting products daily.†

I then undertook another 2 months within the store as I was really enjoying it and my responsibilities grew I started dealing with the safe, cashing up the cashiers, managing the team members, understanding the KPIís and how to improve, managing a closing shift, trading law checks and checking emails.†

I decided to complete a final 2 months in the store when again I gained more responsibilities such as ordering, holiday planning and creating rotas.†

For my final 2 months I transferred department to Logistics. My responsibilities were checking the stock being received into the warehouse make sure it was correct, fresh and of the right quantity. Training operatives to pick the store orders and how to correctly stack a pallet. Checking delivery lanes against the tour sheets to make sure they are correct and to adjust them accordingly.†

My skills throughout the placement developed immensely. I already had a good level of customer service but I feel I developed this skill even more through constant customer interaction in store. My attention to detail which I thought was a weakness of mine developed whilst in store as when running a closing shift I needed to make sure all areas and jobs were completely correctly and to a high standard. My management skills also developed whilst in store as I was in charge of a team and had to manage them to make sure they all had jobs and were working productively.†

I achieved a lot during my placement such as being a part of a successful store opening. I also had the opportunity to come up with a store procedure and present it to the senior consultants at head office in London. I became a vital part of the team whilst in store and finally I gained invaluable knowledge of how the business operates.