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Spot the trends before they arrive and learn how to match customers with the products they love. This programme will put you right at the heart of our Clothing and Home team. 

About the role

As part of this apprenticeship, we’ll give you the best head start in the business through a mix of on-the-job experience and structured learning at the Fashion Retail Academy.

What you'll be doing
Working in fashion is non-stop. Season to season, we’ve got to delight customers with new must-have clothes and homeware. Behind-the-scenes, we’re constantly finding new ways to work greener, smarter, and speedier. If you want to be right in the thick of it making it all work, this is the programme for you. We’ll immerse you in our world and get you working on real projects from day one. Over 18 months, you’ll rotate through teams in both our Buying and Merchandising departments, so you can see every aspect of what we do. Once you’ve explored both departments, you’ll have gained the skills to enable you to complete your final rotation and specialise in one area. You’ll help us develop new ranges of clothes and home products and speak to suppliers across the world as you learn from expert colleagues and hone your creative and analytical abilities.

Day-to-day, you’ll be analysing data, pinpointing trends to predict what our customers want, making sure stock is in the right place at the right time and providing admin support to teams across the business. All of this on-the-job learning is supplemented with training days at the Fashion Retail Academy as you work towards a Level 4 Buying and Merchandising Apprenticeship that will mean you’ll have gained the knowledge to take on buying or merchandising admin assistant roles.
What you'll need
You’ll need GCSEs in Maths (4-9/C-A*) and English (4-9/C-A*) and must not have already completed a Level 4 qualification or above in Fashion Retail, Buying or Merchandising. You also need to have been resident in the United Kingdom for at least the previous three years before the start of the programme or have pre-settled or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme.
What we look for
Along with a genuine curiosity about pretty much everything, we’d expect you to be happy with numbers, great with detail, and have a natural feel for the commercial world. We’re also looking for people who are genuinely excited about fashion, keen to learn and do better, and resilient if the going gets tough. If that’s you, you could help us build the next era of retail.
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Your team

Pic of Employee      Ceira
Pic of Employee      James
Pic of Employee      Jamie

If you’re like me, you might not feel that confident at first. There are skills and knowledge you don’t have. You might feel out of your depth. But if you embrace the challenge of new experiences and get help from people around you, you will get there. In fact, you may be surprised at just how much you can achieve. Ambition means knowing where you want to go, but it’s also about having the determination to get there.

Ceira (She / Her) | School Leaver Read full story

My favourite part of the job is presenting next season's products to the leadership team for sign off. It’s all about the buyers, the designers, the technologists, and the merchandisers coming together and showcasing what we do best. Every season you learn so much, and it’s always fun to analyse what we think our customers will buy.

James (He / Him) | Graduate Read full story

When the M&S grad scheme opened for applications, I could see it was an incredible opportunity with a well respected brand name. And it was definitely the right decision for me – it’s been nice to feel like part of a team that’s working to achieve something together, and the focus on my development has been incredible.

Jamie (He / Him) | Graduate Read full story
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Being an in-person business

We're at our best when we're close to customers, and for many of us at M&S, that means working in store every day.

To stay close to customers, our support teams are in the office three days a week as we believe that skills are developed through collaboration, and that spending time together makes us more creative and connected. It also means we can solve problems as soon as they arise, learn and grow as a team, build trust, and get closer to our colleagues.

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Example career path

- Buying Admin Assistant
- Assistant Buyer
- Junior Buyer
- Buyer

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Learning & support

Your development is our priority. We’ll give you the opportunities to do some incredible things early in your career, but we’ll always make sure you have the support you need to seize those opportunities. From mentoring to on-the-job training, we’ll make sure you’re ready to unleash your potential and ignite your career.


How to apply

We’ll provide reasonable adjustments during the interview process. Just tell us what you need, and we’ll do everything we can to accommodate you.

Application form

Your first step will be to complete our online application form and tell us more about who you are and why you want to work with us. 

You can only apply to one graduate or school leaver programme during this recruitment cycle that starts in October 2023.

Online assessment

We’ll invite you to take part in an online assessment, where you can find out more about M&S whilst we find out more about you. 

Assessment stage

If your online assessment is successful, you’ll be invited to an assessment centre alongside your peers. The recruitment process for store-based roles will also include an opportunity to attend your final interview in one of our stores.

Buying & Merchandising Apprenticeship


We are not currently recruiting for this Programme. Sign up to our Talent Pool to be notified or future application dates.

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