Matalan to run eCommerce student placement scheme

Matalan is launching an eCommerce student placement programme which will take place at its Knowsley headquarters next summer.

The fashion and home retailer will work with partner universities over the coming months to recruit students from a broad range of skills, including computer science, digital marketing and psychology, for the 12-month paid placement. It is understood students will take a year-out prior to their final year at university to spend time within various areas of the Matalan eCommerce team.

Matalan is keen to increase its wider digital skills capabilities and its eCommerce division has already hired six new full-time employees in the last six months, since former Shop Direct head of digital transformation, Paul Hornby, took over the reigns as director of eCommerce earlier this year. Hornby, who reports into Matalan COO, Greg Pateras, now looks after a team of almost 30 digital employees.

Speaking to Essential Retail, Hornby said the number of places on the student programme is to be confirmed, but the internship would run similarly to Matalan’s existing buying and merchandising placement, which also works with universities to find talent. The number of students who have taken part in Matalan’s buying and merchandising programme over the years has varied depending on the business need, with a peak of 16, and eight participating in the current scheme. Other dedicated student placements at Matalan include supply chain, technical services and marketing, and since 2012, 15 students have gained full-time roles at Matalan following participation in the schemes. 

“My biggest desire since joining is to help Matalan be perceived as a great place for digital talent,” said Hornby who is judging a hackathon at the Tech. event in London later this week. 

“It will take time to shift the perception of the Matalan brand to resonate strongly with digital talent. But we’re coming at it from a number of areas and we’re laser-focused on the experience we’re trying to create and the skill-set we need internally to make that a reality.”

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