Builders merchant chain Jewson yesterday launched a degree course in builders merchanting in partnership with Birmingham City University and FDF (Foundation Degree Forward).
The part-time course will take 14 months to complete and will be Jewson branded although it will of course be open to anyone working in builders merchanting.
Launching the course, Jewson managing director Peter Hindle MBE said: “I’m enormously proud of this initiative, an industry first. It’s the culmination of two years very hard development work and we have 25 students signed up do far with a further 24 coming through for next year.
“What I love about it is that students’ ages range from 19 to 50. It has given the opportunity of a higher education degree to people who never thought they would get to wear a cap and gown, that their chance for a degree had passed them by. It’s so encouraging to see how enthusiastically they have grasped the opportunity.”
The Jewson Foundation Degree is aimed at new and existing branch managers and assistant branch managers, and will be delivered through face-to-face modules, e-learning and telephone conference calls.
The course will be supported by Birmingham City University lecturers and the Jewson training department, culminating in a major project presentation where students will be required to demonstrate creative thinking that has led to a bottom-line impact on the Jewson business. The learning modules include management and leadership, law for merchants, customer service and marketing, and personal professional development.
Jewson has also launched a Post Graduate Diploma in Leadership and Strategy to run in tandem with the new Foundation Degree, which begins in January and will replace the current in-house senior management programme and provide nationally recognised qualifications for graduates following a 12 month course.