Retailers including House of Fraser, Jigsaw and JD Sports, the government and charity Retail Trust have joined forces to launch new retail qualification the Retail Leader Apprenticeship Degree.
The programme will launch next year with 400 retail employees. It aims to develop apprentices’ strategic, technical, managerial and leadership retail skills. Apprentices will work full time while also studying for a BA at their chosen university.
Other retailers to have signed up include Paul Smith, independent department store Morleys, Tesco, furniture retailer Dunelm, Specsavers and Morrisons.
Retailers will be able to claim back up to £22,000 of their apprenticeship levy per student over the four-year course.
Amy Prendergast, head of people and vocational learning services at Retail Trust, said: “This programme is the first of our supported degrees developed collaboratively with the industry. We have 12 retailers on board and would encourage other businesses to make the most of their levy funds, and develop their next generation of leaders.”
Amanda Cox, people and services director at furniture retailer Dunelm, added: “This is a real legacy moment for retail – showing through a work-based degree how important retail is as a sector and the amazing careers that people can have within it.”