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Once upon a time university education was only for the few. Nowadays ability runs ahead of privilege. Ireland has made major strides in educating its young in the past few decades and the ability of each new generation is what will help Ireland to compete in an increasingly changing marketplace.

One of the fastest changing, as we well know, is retail. Well within the lifetime of this year’s average university leaver, it’s seen revolutions in refrigeration, transport, supply, consumer communication, food traceability, marketing, energy efficiency and many, many other areas. Todays retailer has access to talent and technology that would make the friendly corner shop that some of us remember from as long ago as the 1960s look almost prehistoric. But not entirely. Our aim at Musgrave is to capture the good parts of the past – efficient service, a good selection of local and national produce, approachable staff – and bring them together with the innovations of the present – online ordering, mobile alerts, transport logistics, high-tech food storage and more – to ensure the best of both worlds.

Which is another way of saying that this is the time of the year when we congratulate the many talented youngsters who have successfully completed the Musgrave Graduate Programme. The two-year programme has been in operation for nearly 20 years and sets a lot of store not just on commercial and analytical skills but also on practical ideas for improving performance in identified stores or business areas.

This year’s intake has been honing its skills in such diverse areas of our business as marketing, trading, supply, finance, and retail operations – and then using them to make sure that you, our customers, get the best service possible.

At which point some of our younger readers (or their parents) might want to know more about applying for roles with us and what a graduate post with Musgrave could offer. If you do, just click on the ‘Graduates’ button on the home page.

And then pause for thought. What you just did almost automatically is something very few people were able to do when you were born. What kind of technology and communications systems will the retail business be using when kids graduate in 2024? Maybe you’ll be helping us to find out.

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