New degree apprentices step onto the career ladder

A group of 18 apprentices have taken the first steps up the career ladder thanks to an innovative partnership between Sheffield Hallam University and Clipper Logistics, the retail solutions provider which has its headquarters in Yorkshire.

Working within Clipper’s logistics network and interacting with key customers, which include some of the biggest names in retail such as Asda, John Lewis, Harvey Nichols, ASOS, M&S and Pretty Liittle Thing to name a few, the apprentices will study towards a BA (Hons) Professional Practice in Management as part of the Chartered Management Degree Apprenticeship.

One of a growing portfolio of higher and degree apprenticeships developed by employers, the programme facilitates the application of latest academic thinking within the workplace through a series of specially designed modules and often leads to apprentices gaining recognised industry professional status following completion of their apprenticeship.

The logistics sector is a major employer within the UK, employing approximately 1.8m people in various activities within distribution centres, fulfilment operations and transport.

With the growth of online shopping, increasing demands are being placed on specialist retail logistics companies to deliver quickly and efficiently to ever-demanding customers, requiring the sector to respond with the development of innovative and forward-thinking leaders, a challenge Clipper Logistics has responded to with the introduction of their new degree apprenticeship programme.

The programme, tailored specifically by Sheffield Hallam for the logistics sector, is delivered over three and a half years and the apprentices spend the vast majority of their time in the workplace, typically, attending university for three or four days at a time, approximately six times per year, with this decreasing in the final year.

The apprenticeships are funded through a national apprenticeship employer levy allowing individuals to gain a degree as part of their employment.

Student Jake Anstiss, who found out about the course on the government’s apprenticeships website said: “When the opportunity arose I had to take it as this was the perfect way to gain a degree and get work experience as well. I’m interested in business and how the world of business works and I’m hoping for a career in supply chain logistics after I’ve advanced through the apprenticeship.”

Richard Cowlishaw, Group HR Director at Clipper commented: “This partnership with Sheffield Hallam University demonstrates our commitment to recruiting, developing and nurturing the best talent in the business. People are at the heart of what we deliver for our customers, allowing us to work proactively and collaboratively with them to provide outstanding levels of service and I’m very pleased to welcome these apprentices to the Clipper team.”

Dr Jonathan Gorst, principal lecturer in logistics at Sheffield Business School said: “We are delighted to welcome our new apprentices to Sheffield Hallam and wish them every success in their new roles at Clipper Logistics. We are very excited to have teamed up with Clipper to offer this course which will provide the students with the theoretical knowledge they need to fulfil their practical roles in the workplace and become effective managers in the future.”