Industrial Placements

Choosing the very best place to gain invaluable experience during your year in an industrial placement is really important. After all, you want to be certain that wherever you go, you’ll be creating the very best start to your future career.

Rest assured that Industrial Placements at the John Lewis Partnership have been carefully designed to give you involvement on real-time projects, more opportunities to show what you’re capable of and to develop your skills, and to give you plenty of responsibility to help prepare you for coping with real life working environments. After successfully completing the placement scheme and finishing university we hope our Placement students will rejoin the business once again through a graduate scheme or advertised role.

Current Opportunities

Our next intake of applications will start in August 2024 ready for Placements that will start in 2025.

We would advise you to set up job alerts so when the opportunities are advertised, you’ll be notified via email.

You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for future updates.

List of our 2023 Industrial Placement Programmes

– Agricultural Strategy

– Commercial Sales

– Digital Marketing

– Hospitality 

– Human Resources

– Store Design

– Product Design

– Brand Marketing & Marketing Planning

– Supply Chain Analyst

– Buying

– Quality Assurance

– Own Brand Strategy

– Learning & Development

What are Industrial Placements?

Usually lasting for 12 months, industrial placements are integrated into your university degree between the second and third year, often referred to as a ‘sandwich year’. They offer you the chance to learn in an active, working environment and provide you with valuable work experience before you graduate from your degree. Industrial placements can be extremely beneficial for life after university as you are provided with that all important experience in your chosen field while completing your studies.

Why choose an Industrial Placement?

Placements are an invaluable way of getting to know a company. And, of course, for a company to get to know you. All John Lewis work experience placements give you a unique overview of how our businesses are structured and how they operate, not to mention a flavour of the exciting future career you could have with us. In return, we are provided with a fresh perspective on our business as we always strive for continuous improvement. Students applying for a work placement need to have interest and/or career aspiration in the area they apply for to ensure they get the best out of the opportunity.

Is it worth doing a Placement Year at University?

Industrial placements and internships significantly improve your employability, often exposing you to elements of the workplace that are unobtainable through lectures and exams while also raising your commercial awareness and improving your mentality. Working on an industrial placement allows you to put the theory you have learnt into practice and can provide you with extra discipline and motivation to finish your final year with the likelihood of better grades. Not only will you benefit academically from your newfound work experience, but your personable skills will also improve as a result of working in a professional team – providing you with an edge needed for those pesky group projects.

Who Do We Look For?

You currently should be studying in your second year of studies at University and looking to undertake 12 months in Industry to support your study and gain some valuable experience for your future career. We look for Industrial Placement Partners that embody our Partnership Values. You’ll be driven, thrive on taking responsibility and delivering quality service, be open to development, adaptable to change and will enjoy building strong relationships. You’ll be able to translate the skills & knowledge you have learnt from your study, into the workplace, whilst using your support network to develop your understanding.

John Lewis Partnership Industrial Placement Benefits

We want to make sure all Industrial Placement Partners are competitively rewarded for the duration of the 12 month placement you’ll spend with us, which is why we conduct an in-depth pay review annually to ensure that you benefit from this as much as you can. For 2023 Industrial Placement students you’ll benefit from a fixed annual salary of £21,000 per annum.

As well as the competitive salary there are also many more Partnership Perks that you can enjoy during your time in the Partnership, including (but not limited to):

  • Once you have been with us for 3 months you’ll benefit from Partnership in John Lewis & Partners, 25% (15% on electrical goods) and in Waitrose & Partners you’ll receive a 20% discount
  • A large number of subsidised sports clubs and societies at local and Partnership-wide levels. Partners are encouraged to join clubs, choosing from everything from abseiling, climbing, football, gliding and golf, to mountain biking, netball, racquet sports, riding, skiing, sailing, surfing and swimming
  • Up to 50% subsidy on tickets for the theatre, opera and music performances, up to a maximum amount per year
  • During your placement, you’ll have the support of a dedicated People Manager, as well as buddies to help you and your learning objectives, and also give you valuable work experience and opportunities to help give you the best start to your chosen career.

Applying for an Industrial Placement

The application process for all of our Industrial Placement Schemes have been designed to give you the most realistic view of what it’s like to work in the John Lewis Partnership, particularly as an IP student. For this reason, our application process can differ from scheme to scheme but here is an overview of what to expect – as well as some of our top tips.

Online Testing

You will be invited to complete a variety of online judgement and skills tests as the initial part of the application process, these will include our Partnership Selection Questionnaire and Situational Judgement Tests. Here are a few tips from our past IPs:

  • “Read up on the John Lewis Partnership & Role profile before starting the tests to get a better understanding of the type of company we are”
  • “Make sure you leave yourself plenty of time to complete each test & locate yourself in a quiet space away from distractions”
  • “Complete the tests as soon as possible, to ensure you don’t miss any application deadlines – it’s better to not leave it to the last minute”
Application Form

If you successfully complete all online tests, the next stage is to complete an application form and upload your CV (If you are in a design field, a portfolio will be required at the point of application). This is your opportunity to demonstrate why you think you are suitable for that IP scheme, and why you’ve chosen the John Lewis Partnership. But make sure you are answering the questions honestly & truthfully, this process is as much about you picking the right scheme and company. Don’t answer the questions with what you think we want to hear, but instead make sure it’s your genuine response.

  • “Think about what will make your application stand out – work experience you have completed, projects you have completed at University and even extra curricular activities you have taken part in.”
  • “Make sure your CV is up to date and well presented”
  • “Spell check, spell check, spell check!”
  • “If it helps, write out your answer first in a Word document (or similar) so you can tweak/amend before submitting it”
  • “Use all the word count available to ensure you offer a well rounded answer”
  • “Ask a friend or relative to read over your answer, and make sure that it fully answers the question”
  • “Take your time with your answer, maybe take a break and come back to it for a fresh perspective”
Assessment Centre

If you are successful after submitting your application form, You will be invited to a virtual interview where you will do a presentation as well as being tested against our Partnership Capabilities to fully demonstrate your skill set & understanding of the role/John Lewis Partnership. This is the final stage of our process so make sure you utilise all the research you have done.

  • “Be yourself! We want to know the real you”
  • “Read our Values and Capabilities beforehand as this is what you will be measured against alongside your ability to complete the role”
  • “First impressions count, so don’t be late!”
  • “Take the opportunity to ask your interviewers questions. These Partners will work very closely with you if you are successful so they will be able to give you some great insight into the team, working life as well as showing you are really interested in the role.”
  • “Do your research! Understanding how John Lewis Partnership works will help you with your presentation and answering any interview questions”

What Next?

Think a placement year is for you? Register for job alerts so that we can notify you about our next cohort starting in 2023. Applications will open early 2023.