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Derby College Launches First BA Hons Degree

  • Date: 26/08/2011
  • Category: General

Derby College has launched its first full BA Honours degree in Retail Management and Leadership in response to the demand from the retail sector for a flexible higher education programme for established and budding managers.

 The first students on the degree are due to start in September 2012 –which will also provide a progression route for those students starting their Foundation Degree in Retail Leadership and Management this September (2011).

 The part-time degree will be based at the College’s flagship vocational campus in Derby, The Roundhouse, with additional workplace support and mentoring from the team.

 Derby College Principal David Croll explained: “Derby College has a fantastic reputation with the retail sector throughout the UK and is a founder member of the Retail Skills Shop programme.

“We work with some of the major High Street retailers – handling work-based training up and down the country and I am therefore delighted that we have gained accreditation to offer a full degree to existing and potential managers at these and other companies to support  them in their career development.

“Increasing participation in Higher Education and supporting the development of the local and national workforces are both key objectives for Derby College and are in line with the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) priority to engage more people in higher level study by providing more flexible modes of study that address the needs of industry.”

Richard Page, who is manager of Derby Retail Skills Shop at the College, added: “Nationally, the retail sector employs 2.5 million people of which approximately 18% are in managerial positions and a third of whom hold higher qualifications.

“Within Derby city, retail and wholesale employment makes up nearly 11% of the employment statistics and, with the city rapidly rising in the retail rankings, is an area set for expansion.

“The economic climate has obviously severely affected the retail industry but one of the more positive effects has been a decrease of 17% in staff turnover. This increased stability in the sector has led to more and more companies looking at training as a key factor in incentivising and encouraging good staff to stay and develop their skills.

“Derby College’s Higher Education retail programme has been developed in close consultation with key retailers that we already work with and we look forward to welcoming our first Foundation Degree students this September.”

Among the learners who are joining the Foundation Degree this September and hope to progress to the full BA Honours degree is Sue Wright who is the Retail Manager for Blythe House Hospice which is based in Chapel-en-le-Frith in North Derbyshire.

Sue, who has worked in mainstream retail for many years, achieving Management level exchanged the High Street for the Charity Shop Sector four years ago.

She is in overall charge of the daily running and development of the five shops which are based in Buxton, New Mills, Chapel-en-le-Frith and Whaley Bridge and also the e-bay/online shop and manages a team of one paid Managers Assistant and an army of more than 100 volunteers.

Sue, who last year won the rising star award in the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce’s Enterprising Women awards, explained: “I found out about the Foundation Degree from our Derby College assessor who has been handling NVQ training for our volunteers in the shops and decided it would be a great way of developing my own skills for now and for the future.

“I am looking forward to working with like-minded people from all different aspects of retail to share ideas and embed the knowledge and experience that I already have from my many years in retail.

“Working in the charity shop sector can be particularly challenging and also extremely rewarding.  The shops  are a vital regular income source which help fund the work of Blythe House Hospice  offering free, individualised and holistic care and support for local people living with life threatening illnesses as well as for their family, carers and friends.

“It is therefore important that we maximise the potential of the work we do and I hope that this Foundation Degree will support me in continuing to develop the effectiveness and efficiency of our charity shop network.”

For more information, contact Derby Retail Skills Shop at Derby College, Tel: 0800 0280289


Media enquiries: Sarah Jenkin-Jones, PR Officer, Derby College, Tel: 07951 945 665;

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