UPS delivers work-based leadership degree programme

Published: 19 April 2010 at 14:42

UPS’s UK workforce given chance to earn nationally-recognised qualifications through two work-based degrees

Ashcroft International Business School (AIBS) at Anglia Ruskin University has partnered with UPS, the world’s largest package delivery company, to launch an undergraduate and postgraduate work-based leadership degree programme for approximately 150 of UPS’s employees in the UK.

Through this innovative initiative, UPS managers and supervisors will be offered the opportunity to enrol on a BA (Hons) Management and Leadership degree or an MA Leadership degree. The programmes have been specifically tailored to allow UPS’s executive students to marry their studies with their daily work, through blended learning approaches that combine face-to-face tutorage and online learning.

The partnership with Anglia Ruskin University represents just the latest example of UPS’s longstanding commitment to staff training and development. UPS has already received external NVQ and ILM accreditation for two in-house training programmes for drivers, team leaders and supervisors in the UK. In addition to these varied programmes, UPS is also developing a ‘Skills for Life’ programme designed to help employees develop the competencies they themselves have identified as areas they would like to improve.

Roger Mays, HR manager, UPS UK and Ireland, said:

"Providing people with the opportunity to expand their own skillset through external qualifications is a core element of UPS’s global philosophy. The launch of this programme is further testament to our commitment to this philosophy, and we are proud of our track record of supporting training and skills development at every level of the organisation. This programme will help our management staff fulfil their personal and professional ambitions whilst equipping them with real-world leadership skills that will benefit our business."

Rachael Hall and Vanessa Knowles are project leaders at Ashcroft International Business School, Anglia Ruskin University. Rachael Hall said:

"We have worked closely with UPS towards the launch of these innovative degree programmes. We are excited about being able to help UPS employees develop their knowledge and skills.  This is just one of the recent examples of Higher Skills @ Work bringing tangible benefits to employees and business alike."

This joint academia-industry approach reflects a growing trend, with universities fostering innovative approaches that allow students to achieve both personal and business-related goals. The need for skills development was highlighted by Lord Leitch (2006) and supported more recently by the CBI Higher Education Task Force (Sept 2009). It is also an area of strategic importance for the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) through their employer engagement programmes. Led by its Higher Skills @ Work team, Anglia Ruskin University has won substantial HEFCE funding to support its employer engagement initiatives, including partial funding for the launch of the new work-based leadership degree programme in partnership with UPS.

Professor Michael Thorne, Vice Chancellor of Anglia Ruskin University, says:

"We are really pleased to be working with UPS as a strategic partner. This project demonstrates the innovation that has gone into the design of both the degree and masters pathways. We launch with a strong commitment from UPS in terms of the number of people who will be taking the programme, a clear signal of UPS senior management’s commitment. The development of this new partnership is another example of our passion for practice-based management education. I am sure these programmes will be successful and rewarding for both the individuals and for UPS as an organisation."