Pearson Business School is partnering with a group of world leading companies to launch the UK’s first rotational degree apprenticeship in Business Management combining first class work experience in three companies with a degree.

The innovative three-year Rotational Degree Apprenticeship is designed around student-apprentices rotating through three different blue chip companies, while studying for an Honours Degree at the same time. 

The consortium of FTSE 100 companies and IBM are collaborating to provide a unique learning experience for up to 12 ambitious students with a passion for business.  “It is crucial to have an appreciation of many different business environments.  By spending time in three different companies participants will gain a deeper understanding of business issues and a greater ability to collaborate and adapt” said Roxanne Stockwell, Principal.  

The most recent CBI Education and Skills Survey found that 46% of employers are not satisfied with graduate’s levels of business and customer awareness. The new degree apprenticeship is designed to meet the needs of employers looking to recruit more business-savvy graduates.

Student-apprentices will be paid at least £15,000 per annum, with time off for study and will graduate debt-free.    

Participants graduate with an honours degree, a network of professional contacts, prestigious Chartered Manager Status and most importantly three years of professional work experience in world leading companies.

Competition is likely to be fierce, but unsuccessful applicants may be eligible for a place on Pearson Business School’s Business Management degree with a guaranteed internship and a reduction in fees.

The launch fits within the Government’s plans to place apprenticeships on the same footing as traditional degrees and, if rolled out more widely, could help employers meet the target to create three million apprenticeships by 2020.

Applicants can apply from 1st July at  

Pearson Business School is part of Pearson College London – the UK’s first higher education institution founded by a FTSE 100 company. 

Roxanne Stockwell, Principal of Pearson Business School’s parent institution Pearson College London, said:
“We have launched this degree because more and more employers are telling us that their graduates are lacking in the skills needed to succeed in the world of work."

89% of employers surveyed said that they value graduate hires with the right attitudes and aptitude for work, this innovative course hopes to address the balance between traditional academia and the needs of 21st century employers.

Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO WPP, said:
“We believe that business can play a positive role in education. By investing in young people we can help build the skills our industry needs and help young people into employment.  The Rotational Business Degree with Pearson Business School is a valuable new opportunity for young people from all backgrounds to develop skills and gain a degree while working, which we believe is an important innovation for education in the UK.”

Annette King, CEO, Ogilvy & Mather UK, said:
At Ogilvy we are constantly looking for new ways to bring diverse talent into our business, from as many different walks of life and backgrounds as possible. We are delighted to be taking part in helping make this degree happen in such a modern, business relevant way.” 

Placid Jover, VP Human Resources, Unilever UK & Ireland, said:
“At Unilever we have a passion for investing in people and are always looking to bring fresh ideas and perspectives into our business.  Our graduate and apprenticeship programs are already much sought-after and we are delighted to add this new rotational degree program to our offering. We believe this unique opportunity will help accelerate and enhance the development of highly adaptable and talented individuals who can thrive in this fast and ever-changing world."

Alison Horner, Tesco Group Personnel Director, said:
“Tesco are thrilled to be part of the rotation degree trial with Pearson Business School starting in September 2016. This is a unique opportunity for young people to combine studying for a degree whilst gaining invaluable work experience across a number of different organisations. This new approach to learning will support young people to enter the world of work with well-developed professional skills. Shaping future leaders is key to the success of our business and this trial gives us the opportunity to work with young people and develop their talent.”

Andy Moss, Senior Vice President Pearson, said:
"Pearson is delighted to be partnering with some of the world's leading businesses to deliver our new Rotational Degree Apprenticeships.  These courses give students an unrivaled business education, backed by first class work experience with three different blue-chip companies - what better way for learners to gain the skills and knowledge needed to progress in their lives. 

That's what Pearson Business School is all about, ensuring students can move seamlessly from education to employment with some of the world's most innovative organisations."

Mark Pettican, Pearson UK HR Director, said:
"The world is changing, and the workforce of tomorrow needs to have ready skills that ensure success in the jobs of the future. The rotational degree apprenticeship is a unique opportunity for students to set the trajectory of their career path right from the start of their degree study. We are proud to be a part of this initiative, which demonstrates our commitment to providing opportunities for learners at every stage of their journey."

Mark Evans, Marketing Director Direct Line Group, said:
“Our intent is to revolutionise insurance again. In a fast changing world that increasingly means that developing our capability is in itself the strategy - the "how?" is becoming pre-eminent because the "what?" is incredibly hard to define precisely and will continually evolve.

As a result of this we need to be able to attract and retain great talent. Therefore we are absolutely delighted to be involved in the launch of Rotational Degrees with Pearson Business School since it promises to produce exceptional graduates with a genuine edge that can make a difference in an organisation from the moment that they graduate.”

Jenny Taylor, IBM UK Foundation Manager, said:
“Apprenticeship schemes have a vital role to play in closing Britain’s digital skills gap and growing the economy, and IBM is delighted to be adding this new cross industry Degree Apprenticeship to our award winning portfolio of graduate and apprenticeship programmes.” 

Notes to editors

  • Successful applicants will spend the first 12 months with their ‘Home Company’, 8 months at a second company, 8 months at a third company and a final 8 months back with their Home Company. 
  • During term time they will work four days a week and spend the fifth at Pearson Business School studying for a degree in Business Management validated by the University of Kent.
  • Students will have access to a company mentor and an academic personal tutor who will support them throughout the programme.
  • The course starts in September 2016 and ends September 2019.

About participating companies

Think you haven’t heard of Unilever? Think again!  The consumer goods giant’s brands are present within 98% of UK households, so it’s pretty much guaranteed that you’ll own some of their products. From Marmite (love it or hate it…) and the unconventional, quirky ice-cream brand Ben and Jerry’s, through to Dove’s campaign for 'real beauty', Unilever are renowned for a being a business built on brands with purpose. Unilever’s employees are passionate about their commitment to sustainability and this shines through from the products they offer to the marketing campaigns they deliver.

Tesco is one of the world’s largest retailers with over 450,000 colleagues who are dedicated to serving shoppers a little better every day. In the UK, we are the largest private sector employer with over 300,000 colleagues across more than 3000 stores, distribution centres and offices, as well as in Tesco Mobile and Tesco Bank. Understanding people – customers, colleagues, communities – and what matters to them, and then trying to make those things better, is at the heart of Tesco. After all, every little helps. Tesco are focused on shaping future leaders and encourage their colleagues to take responsibility, be entrepreneurial, to serve and make things happen.

IBM is a multinational technology and consulting organisation, but perhaps one of the most interesting facts is that the company is focused on remaining relevant and is constantly reinventing itself. And that’s not just an ambitious claim, it’s embedded within its culture. IBM want the young employees within the organisation to feel passionate about the projects they're working on.  To drive this they’ve developed ‘Millennial Corps’, a digital group of thousands of employees. Staff participating in ‘Millennial Corps’ frequently receive surveys about potential projects IBM may be spearheading, so they can engage, contribute their thoughts and impact the company, with a direct pipeline to the top. Sounds exciting? We thought so too!

Direct Line Group
Direct Line Group is headquartered in Bromley. Through its number of well-known brands the Group offers a wide range of general insurance products to consumers. These brands include Direct Line, Churchill and Privilege. The Group also provides insurance services for third parties through its partnerships division, Brand Partners. In the commercial sector, the Group’s NIG and Direct Line for Business operations offer insurance products for businesses distributed through brokers or direct, respectively.

Pearson is a FTSE100 company and the world’s learning organisation; not forgetting that it’s Pearson College London’s parent company too! Pearson creates tools that provide opportunities for learners at every stage of their journey: at home, through to the classroom and the workplace, so that learning becomes embedded in their lives. Pearson’s ethos is ‘wherever learning flourishes, so do people’, to that end Pearson brings together leading names in education to provide content, curricula, assessment, training and information systems to make learning more engaging and effective. Pearson strives to ensure that its employees have the skills to leave, but choose to stay.

WPP is the world’s largest communications services group and is the parent company of OgilvyOne which is part of our Rotational Degree Apprenticeship programme.  Through its many operating companies, the Group provides advertising and marketing services to companies large and small.  These include advertising & media investment management; data investment management; public relations & public affairs; branding & identity; healthcare communications; direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing and specialist communications. The Group employs 194,000 people (including associates and investments) in over 3,000 offices across 112 countries. 

Ogilvy & Mather UK
Ogilvy & Mather UK is the largest integrated communications group in the UK. We have ten specialist agencies with expertise in areas as diverse as PR, design, direct, digital, healthcare, branded content and advertising all based at Sea Containers on the Southbank. Across all of our companies, our focus is on producing breakthrough creative work, which is measurable and effective. Around the world we have a network of more than 500 offices in 126 countries. Ogilvy is currently Cannes Network of the Year. Ogilvy & Mather UK is a WPP company.

OgilvyOne London, one of the 10 Ogilvy & Mather agencies in Sea Container where the rotation student will work is The Customer Agency specializing in helping its clients’ brands unlock the full potential of their customers -  whether in the consumer space or the business environment. Multi-award winning the agency is a leader in customer engagement across the whole customer journey.