Asda launches honours degree scheme for staff

Kasmira Jefford
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ASDA employees will this year be able to study for an undergraduate degree under a three-year scheme in partnership with Middlesex University.

The supermarket giant said it will offer 30 Asda staff the chance to study for a BA (Hons) degree in either distribution or retail operations while retaining a salaried position in the store, in plans revealed yesterday.

The scheme, which will be fully funded by the retailer, is designed to help Asda staff who missed out on university due to the spiralling costs of higher education.

“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,” said Hayley Tatum, executive people director. “We hope to create a pool of home grown talent, the future leaders of Asda,” she added.

The degree is open to staff who have worked at Asda for at least six months and will launch in October after a pilot of the scheme last year.

Asda is the latest in a line of companies launching a higher education scheme. John Lewis revealed plans in May to introduce a vocational qualification equivalent to an honours degree later this year.

Fast food chain KFC in April said it will help fund a BA in business management at De Montfort University over the next five years.

Neil Carberry of the CBI said other industries should take this approach. “It sends a clear message that major employers should work with universities to give staff top-level skills for their whole career, not just their current job,” he said.

Thousands of students will learn whether they have made the grade for university when A-Level results come out on Thursday.