Nestlé has teamed up with Sheffield Hallam University to launch a work and study programme giving school leavers the opportunity to earn a salary while studying for a degree.
Students will work across sales, marketing, HR and supply chain during the three-year programme, earning a salary of £16,000.
They will also spend five weeks a year at Sheffield Hallam University studying for a BA Hons degree in Professional Business Practice, with their tuition fees paid for.
In the third year of the programme, the students will specialise in a particular business area in preparation for taking up a full-time role upon graduation.
“These students will graduate alongside their peers, but with a host of relevant work experience to add to their CV, and a guaranteed job with a major company”
Professor Adrian Hopgood
There are 12 places on offer for the first year of the programme, which kicks off in September. Nestlé said it hoped to increase the intake in future years.
Nestlé said the programme was the first of its kind in the food industry and offered a good alternative for school leavers put off university by rising living costs and tuition fees.
“I’m passionate that we offer careers that are accessible to everyone. We have to recognise that some very bright people will choose not to go to university because of higher tuition fees,” said Nestlé HR director Matt Stripe.
Sheffield Hallam University said the programme would give students the opportunity to apply the theory they learn at university to the workplace.
“These students will graduate alongside their peers, but with a host of relevant work experience to add to their CV, and a guaranteed job with a major company,” said Professor Adrian Hopgood, pro vice chancellor of Sheffield Business School at Sheffield Hallam University.
Sheffield Hallam University is also launching a food and drink engineering degree next year in partnership with the Food and Drink Federation and the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink.