Musgrave wins best graduate employer of the year award

Event attracted more than 100 entries from graduate employers

Musgrave was one of the biggest winners at the gradireland Graduate Recruitment Awards ceremony in Dublin's Mansion House.

The food and retail company won the award for Graduate Employer of the Year in the category for companies with an intake of fewer than 40 graduates. It also won the award for Best Training and Development Programme for Business/Management Programmes and silver for Best Graduate Recruitment Website. Siobháin Scanlon of Musgrave says the purpose of the Musgrave graduate programme is to attract new talent and develop it into the future.

“We want to create leaders of the future, possessing the values, mind-set and new skills required to enable Musgrave to achieve our ambition through meeting the opportunities presented from the changes happening in society, in technology, in retail and in our business through to 2025 and beyond,” says Scanlon.

Other notable successes on the night included Tendai O'Connor of Jameson, who walked away with the Graduate Employee of the Year Award, and PwC, which was named as having the Best Specialist/Professional Training and Development Programme.


“One of the most rewarding parts of my role is seeing our graduates grow both as a professional and as a person over the course of our three-year graduate programme,” said Sinéad D’Arcy, head of Jameson International graduate programme.

“Tendai has been a stand-out character from his very first day on the programme and has continued to impress and inspire those within our programme and our wider business. I look forward to following his continued success within our business,” she added.

The Best Graduate Recruitment Website award went to EY, while professional services firm Workday won Best Graduate Employer for 2019 in the category for companies with an intake of more than 40 graduates.

The most popular graduate recruiters by sector were KPMG in accountancy/professional services, A&L Goodbody in law, Aer Lingus in logistics and transport and Intel in engineering.

Accenture won the Diversity Recruitment Award.

The 13th gradireland Graduate Recruitment Awards were held in partnership with the Association of Higher Education Careers Services for 550 of the country’s graduate recruiters, industry stakeholders and talent specialists.

This year’s event attracted more than 100 entries from graduate employers.

The awards were presented by TV presenter Síle Seoige, with entertainment provided by the Dublin Concert Band, the 3 Choir and the UCD Dance Society.

More than 13,300 students participated in the vote to select Ireland’s most popular graduate recruiter.

Importance of graduate recruitment

Director of gradireland Mark Mitchell says the awards ceremony recognises the hard work of graduate recruiters and the importance of graduate recruitment for the ongoing success of so many companies.

“The awards are flying – it couldn’t be going better. Graduate jobs and the graduate recruitment sector is a really dynamic and growing sector. There has been a big growth in graduate programmes in all the sectors and that is evidenced by there being more than 150 organisations shortlisted across the spectrum of awards,” says Mitchell.

“This has been one of the biggest awards to date and it shows how many sectors and organisations have organised graduate programmes and are putting their energies and focus into what is a booming sector. Some of the biggest industries at the moment are food, retail science, professional services and banking.

“But all organisations are eager to respond to the different needs of Generation Z, who have grown up online and approach the job hunt in this fashion,” he says.

For Mitchell, the popularity of graduate programmes among Irish students and employers is a “no-brainer”.

“They are very popular with employers as they are a means of identifying early career talent and developing that talent but they also provide a really clear return on investment for companies. And it’s not just the big four accountancy firms and usual suspects doing them – we have companies in the not-for-profit sector doing them too. For example, there’s a grad programme called “4 purpose” that has been established in the past 18 months and it is providing graduates with a career path into the charity and not-for-profit sector,” he says.

The decision was made again this year to split the best internship category as voted for by expert panels into prizes for smaller and larger internships depending on how many interns a company takes in.

The competition for Best Internship Programme, like last year, was divided into two categories, those companies with an internship intake of less than 50 and those with an intake of more than 50.

For the second year running ,Workday won best internship for companies with an intake under 50 while PwC took home the award for the latter.

The full list of winners at the 2019 gradireland Graduate Recruitment Awards is available at