A brief overview of our colleagues
The past year has been unprecedented for all of us and has brought changes that no one could have foreseen. We are immensely proud that even during the pandemic, we have been able to deliver healthy, sustainable and affordable food to all – while protecting health and providing stability in times of uncertainty. All this was only possible thanks to our colleagues, and we are extremely grateful for their determination and perseverance in these challenging times.
Age structure of colleagues
In terms of age, we have a very well-balanced workforce – all age groups from 18 to 76 are represented. During the pandemic, it has been consistently confirmed that age is a significant risk factor for COVID-19. Therefore, protecting the health of some the age groups of our colleagues required extra support.
The most vulnerable colleagues – namely pregnant colleagues, colleagues aged 65 and over or with more serious illnesses – we have made it possible to take paid time off in the most difficult times of the pandemic and stay at home safe and worrying about how this will affect their financial situation. Colleagues welcomed this support very much. It was used by 114 of them who stayed at home at the height of the pandemic.
“I love working at Tesco and I still enjoy it, even though I already work as a part-time pensioner. I always try to advise our customers willingly and help. Due to my age, I already belong to the risk group and I am very careful about my health. Now my desire to work has returned to me in the form of help from Tesco. During those difficult days, during the pandemic, I was given the option of paid time off. I took advantage of this offer and am extremely grateful for it. Thank you, Tesco.”
As a result of the pandemic, unemployment reached 7.98% in the last quarter of 2020 (Labor, Social Affairs and Family Center, March 2021). Since the retail sale of food is one of the essential services, our shops served customers continuously even during the pandemic. During the year, we employed another 3,000 temporary colleagues. We thus offered work to many who lost their income after the closure of other retail or gastro businesses.
Youth unemployment has increased disproportionately throughout the EU during the COVID-19 pandemic – in Slovakia it reached up to 20.2% in January 2021 (European Commission, 2020; OECD, 2021). We consider it important that the representation of our colleagues is strong in all age groups. Just as we support our older colleagues, we also offer programs to support the employment of young people with different entry requirements. Young people from all social backgrounds and with different educations will thus have the opportunity to work at Tesco.
Programs for young leaders
Our programs for young leaders are aimed at graduates with the ambition to work their way into managerial positions in retail and distribution. They offer targeted training that will enable participants to acquire the technical and management skills needed to lead a team. In addition, the program also offers practical training in the form of mentoring, which brings our young leaders closer to some senior positions and connects them with everyone with whom they would not normally have the opportunity to work closely together.
Direct experience of the different positions, responsibilities and people in the program will help young leaders develop career plans and professional development on their way to a management position at Tesco.
“From my first moment at Tesco as a young graduate, I felt welcome in the team. Despite my young age, I was given the opportunity to lead the team. During my seven years at Tesco, I never encountered prejudice against young age, on the contrary, I always integrated very quickly into great teams. Also based on this experience, I would recommend Tesco to young people as a great place to work and start a career.”
Graduate program in the central office
Our program is for graduates and female university graduates provides a unique opportunity for those who are thinking about a career path in the central office. It offers the opportunity to try out different positions within teams from different parts of our business. Participants of all programs will also spend some time in our stores and distribution centers. A substantial part of the program is focused on specific positions in a selected department of the central office, taking into account the ambitions of the participants.
“The graduate program at Tesco thoroughly prepared me for my final position as purchasing manager. First, I worked as a purchasing assistant, thanks to which I learned about this job from the ground up. I understood systematic processes and daily routines, which made it very easy for me to move to a higher position as a buyer.”
Dual education system and our students
Our company is involved in the dual education program, and in cooperation with secondary vocational schools, we provide practical teaching for male and female students in accordance with the school´s educational program. Practical teaching at our facilities has a long tradition. We cooperate with various vocational schools that train their students in trades such as baker, salesperson, marketing or business worker. Subsequently, they gain valuable professional experience at our facilities, as well as their first working habits. Our managers together with the education department invested 4,200 hours in their practical training. In 2015, we joined the dual education system as one of the first employers. In the current school year, we have 32 students in 5 schools across Slovakia who are preparing for their future profession with us. We guarantee every graduate of dual education a job after graduation.
Support of marginalized groups
Our aim is for people in all communities to see Tesco as a place for everyone. This is also why we help job applicants from marginalized Roma communities, who face a disproportionately higher rate of unemployment. Already in 2018, we launched a project to support the employment of Roma without previous work experience. Thanks to our special program, we improve the recruitment and integration of Roma colleagues. The program works in close cooperation with the Pontis Foundation and the organization Človek v ohrození, whose projects for the employment of Roma we also support with a financial grant from the Tesco Foundation. In 2018, we were also awarded an external nomination for Roma Spirit for our activities.