Industrial Placements

Choosing the very best place to gain invaluable experience during your year out of university 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 more involvement, more opportunities to show what you’re capable of, and more responsibility. After successfully completing the internship scheme and finishing university we hope our Placement students will rejoin the business through a graduate scheme or advertised role.

Current Opportunities

We currently have many exciting opportunities for you to join our Placements Schemes starting in Summer 2021. Click here to view our current vacancies. 

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What are Industrial Placements?

Usually lasting 12 months, industrial placements are integrated into your university degree between the second and third year as a sandwich placement. Industrial placements can only be undertaken if they are related to your degree or a part of your course. Work placements offer you the chance to learn in an active, working environment and will provide you with valuable work experience before you complete your degree. Industrial placements can be extremely beneficial for life after university.

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. Students applying for a work placement need to have interest and/or career aspiration in the area they apply for.

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 can provide you with extra discipline and motivation to finish your final year with higher 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’ll be currently studying at University and looking to spend 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 Spirit and Behaviours. 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 2020 Industrial Placement students you’ll benefit from a fixed annual salary of £19,500 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% (12% on electrical goods) and in Waitrose & Partners you’ll receive a 15% 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
  • 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 Cohort Manager, as well as buddies & your line manager, to support your learning objectives, as well as give you valuable work experience and opportunities.

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, and 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, Situational Judgement Tests, Verbal Reasoning & Numerical Reasoning Tests. Here are a few tips from our past IPs:

“Practise the psychometric tests online – you can get better!”
“Make sure you’re prepared for any tests that are timed!”
“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. 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 Uni 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”

Assessment Centre

If you are successful after submitting your application form, you will be invited along to attend a half day assessment at our Head Office, in either London Victoria, or Bracknell Berkshire. At this session, you will be asked to take part in a variety of group and individual activities, as well as an interview, 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 in all activities you complete”
“Read our behaviours beforehand as this is what you will be measured against alongside your ability to complete the role”
“Plan ahead and make sure you know where you’re going for the interview. First impressions count, so you don’t want to arrive late.”
“Contribute during any group activities – it may sound obvious however we can’t score you on what you think, only what you say”
“Take the opportunity to ask your interviewers questions. These Partners will work very closely with you if you are successful so will be able to give you some great insight into the team, working life as well as showing you are really interested about the role.”
“Try not to worry if you feel an activity didn’t go the way you’d hoped – use some down time to reflect and learn from it, and add those learns to your next activity.”


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