Asda have joined forces with Middlesex University to launch two BA (hons) degrees for its staff, in one of the first schemes of its kind by a UK retailer.
The project, fully funded for the students by the retailer, will offer 30 Asda colleagues the opportunity to study for an honours degree in either distribution or retail operations, while retaining their salaried position in store.
Successful applicants to the programme, who are selected by Asda based on their performance and potential, rather than past academic achievement, will complement their growing experience in the workplace with workshops, projects, assessments, online study and peer networking.
Students on the retail degree will cover areas such as merchandising, developing people and managing retail operations, with those choosing distribution taking on modules in supply chain management and logistic operations.
David Williams, Director for Corporate Engagement at Middlesex University said: “Education and industry must keep innovating in order to provide the skilled workforce our economy needs and a big part of this is offering different ways of gaining high level professional qualifications.
“We’re excited about helping talented Asda colleagues get the best of both worlds; great work experience and a university degree”.
Hayley Tatum, Executive People Director at Asda, said: “The current economic climate - coupled with the spiralling costs of higher education - means that many of our colleagues have missed out on university degrees.
“By providing the opportunity to study for a degree, we hope that we can open more doors for our colleagues, developing their skills for the future. Through the programme, we hope to create a pool of home grown talent, the future leaders of Asda.”
The Asda scheme marks the latest in a series of Middlesex University projects, working alongside large employers or industry to meet their skills needs.
The University, one of only two to be funded to develop degree level Higher Apprenticeships, is now delivering apprenticeships within the care sector, construction sector and aviation sector and also provides work based university level qualifications in partnership with major employers including Halifax, Rank, Kraft and Toshiba Tech.