Tesco has vowed to recruit nearly 450 graduates in the next 12 months.

The supermarket – the biggest private sector employer in the UK – is ramping up its graduate recruitment by 30%, with 17 schemes running across its head office, stores and distribution.

Many of the schemes would offer graduates the opportunity to work abroad as part of their training, Tesco said, while local graduate schemes would also be run across most of the international operations.

“It’s a challenging time for graduates but, as other firms cut back on hiring, we remain committed to offering opportunities to talented young people,” said UK personnel director Judith Nelson.

“Our current chief executive was a Tesco graduate trainee. We aim to find the Philip Clarkes of tomorrow and provide them with the skills and training they need for a long and successful career.”

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