Hat tip to the Colonel: KFC celebrates success of University programme to prepare students success at the firm

Oliver Gill
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KFC opened its first restaurant outside of the US in Preston, Lancashire in 1965 (Source: Getty)

A clutch of freshly hatched students celebrated their success after becoming the first to graduate from a KFC degree.

The students, 14 of whom gained a first-class degree, passed their exams in a "pioneering" programme with De Montfort university.

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The degree course is open to assistant restaurant managers and above at KFC. The Colonel funds half of the course fees, with the other half coming out of monthly pay packets.

The business management course was launched in 2013 and while studying some of the graduates have already been promoted to roles at head office or in senior management.

"We are really proud of all of our degree graduates for their fantastic achievement," said KFC head teacher Ed Evans.

He added: "The degree programme will help nurture the talent we need for the future as we grow and we hope to see even more graduates in the coming years.”

The students all celebrated their success (Source: KFC)

KFC employs 24,000 people in the UK across 900 restaurants. Since 2011 it said it has invested an apprenticeship scheme and together with its degree course has invested £3.5m in developing the next brood of employees.

The graduate scheme was not just about the youngsters said 69-year-old restaurant general manager Margaret Partridge. She said:

This has been an incredible opportunity for me. I didn’t think I’d get a degree at my age, let alone do so well!

The programme has definitely improved my leadership and judgement skills. It gave me a deep understanding of management, and I’ve already noticed a positive impact on my work.

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And the professors at De Montfort felt KFC's workplace culture represented important learning for those on the course.

Academic director Alison Bragg said: "The people focused culture at KFC reflects onto the entire team and we all really enjoy working with the students who are now equipped with the additional skills and knowledge to help them develop successful careers.”

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