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B&Q Superstore Gives Recruitment Insight To BPLW

The B&Q Superstore at Scotswood invited our Barclays Premier League Works participants to their store this week as part of Newcastle United Foundation’s Employability programme.

General Manager Ian Millington & HR Manager Gareth Bell welcomed the participants, giving them an overview of the business, their top recruitment tips and an insight into the progression routes available within the organisation.

B&Q is the third largest DIY retailer in the world but the students were reminded of the company’s humble beginnings as a small ship in Southampton in 1966.

The participants were shown around the store and introduced to the different departments, ranging from kitchens to gardens. They also met some of the staff, in what is the third largest store in the country employing over 150 staff.

HR Manager Gareth Bell gave a fantastic insight into the recruitment process at B&Q which gave the participants the opportunity to learn more about online applications, phone interviews, assessment centre interviews incorporating group work and one to one interviews.

Gareth also introduced the concept of a ‘Buddy’, who is someone that works with each new employee for 12 weeks to support new staff through the induction process.

The group also discussed progression routes within B&Q, which include learning and development with the Rising Stars Programme and the Aspire Programme, which aim to fast track employees through to supervisor and management roles.

Finally, Gareth shared his top tips with recruitment with the team:

1) Attach a CV to your online application, make it relevant and make it stand out. Even if you do not have a lot of work experience, draw upon your positive qualities and make these stand out.
2) Arrive with a positive attitude.
3) Be a good time keeper.
4) Show good customer care and pride in your work.
5) Show a willingness to learn and develop your personal skills.

Alasdair Hill, Project Officer at Newcastle United Foundation said:
“The site visit to B&Q Scotswood was an excellent opportunity for the Barclays Premier League Works participants to get an insight into the retail world. Some students have already expressed an interest in working within retail and construction, so this covered both areas brilliantly.

“B&Q have excellent progression routes for their employees and it was fantastic to learn more about the business from Ian and Gareth, who have established their careers through these frameworks.

“These site visits are so valuable for our learners and help give different views on the world of work. Throughout the course the BPLW participants have experienced various industries and we are now seeing students benefitting from a broader understanding and mind set when it comes to looking at different industries”.

For more information on opportunities for young people through Newcastle United Foundation Employability Projects contact Alasdair Hill (

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