Harrods has become the latest employer to devise a tailored degree course for its staff in conjunction with a university in what appears to be a growing trend.
The move follows the announcement last month that the University of Portsmouth had developed a bespoke workplace learning programme in Strategic Quality Management with high-tech giant Hewlett-Packard in order to support key personnel in implementing internal change projects. Other employers going down a similar route include security giant G4S, McDonalds and Tesco.
Anglia Ruskin University’s Ashcroft International Business School, meanwhile, will now start offering Harrods’ employees a nationally-recognised qualification in the shape of a BA (Hons) Sales degree. The intensive course will start this month and take two years.
The luxury retailer’s learning and development manager Arkin Salih said: “This will be the qualification for retail employees wishing to bolster their sales professionalism, whilst investing for their long-term career planning.”
He added that the success of the course would be based on customer satisfaction and the number of sales made by graduates, but he hoped that it would help to boost staff retention rates.
The course is made up of three parts – a Certificate in Higher Education Sales; a Diploma in Higher Education Sales and the BA (Hons) chunk. It will comprise practical and theoretical modules on human behaviour, psychology and business enterprise and the aim is to subsequently fast-track graduates within the business.
Staff will be expected to study on top of their day jobs and will spend half-a-day in the classroom each fortnight. They must have at least two years work experience to be eligible to apply for the scheme via the retailer’s intranet site.