M&S cancels its graduate training

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MARKS & SPENCER has cancelled its coveted management training scheme for this year and withdrawn job offers to graduates due to start this autumn, it emerged last night.

The company said that as part of its plans to boost sales staff and cut back on management posts it will not be offering 250 trainee management places to graduates from September. The annual trawl of the universities, called the "milkround", did not take place this year, a spokeswoman said.

She added that 60 graduates who were made deferred job offers last year have been told that they will not be able to join the scheme. They will be offered four weeks' pay as compensation. No decision had been made on whether to start the scheme again next year.

M&S announced last week that annual profits had halved over the past year.

It had already announced more than 700 redundancies.