Aldi pays graduates the most - outside the City

Why does Aldi provide the most generous graduate recruitment scheme outside of banking and law?

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Aldi on Koenigsallee

Aldi may be known for trimming expenses and cutting costs, but when it comes to their graduate trainee package, it seems they're have been erring on the side of enormous generosity. At £42,000 a year, last year it offered the most generous deal to graduates outside the City of London. The details were revealed in a new study, which brings great news for new graduates.

Good news

High Fliers Research discovered that graduate recruitment was up around 7% in 2014, and there's more good news for 2015 too.

Graduate recruitment is expected to hit its highest level in a decade, as companies take on another 8% more graduates. The biggest growth areas will be the public sector, accounting and professional services companies, banking and finance, retailers, and the Armed Forces.

And average pay will be up too: hitting £30,000 - after four years at £29,000. Over a quarter of graduate schemes will pay more than £35,000, and four organisations are paying more than £45,000 to this year's graduates.

Unsurprisingly the vast majority of these enormous salaries will be paid to those going to work in the City. Investment banks are offering an average of £45,000, law firms an average of £40,000, and banks an average of £36,500.

Aldi

The interesting exception to the rule is Aldi, with the highest published graduate starting salary outside the City. It may seem at odds with Aldi's cut-price reputation, but the retailer is known for being a decent payer - above and beyond its supermarket competitors.

In return for good wages, Aldi employees are expected to rise to the challenges they are presented with every day. The chain is noted for employing fewer staff on the shop floor than other retailers, so employees need to develop a range of skills and be completely flexible.

For graduates, the challenge is just as hard. The company says in its recruitment blurb: "Our graduate jobs aren't easy. But then who wants an airy-fairy role making the tea?" It explains: "We want our graduates to come in as a Trainee Area Manager and run their own multi-million pound business within a year. It's big stuff. And you'll get paid very well."

The company adds that joining the company through the graduate trainee scheme isn't just about working hard for a lot of money - but about developing yourself into an exceptional leader. It then hopes that decent pay and conditions will encourage these leaders to stay, and help Aldi continue to grow.

But what do you think? Is this approach working? And could more retailers afford to learn from this example? Let us know in the comments.

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