First Direct offers staff foundation degrees at Leeds headquarters

First Direct is offering its staff the chance to study for a foundation degree in contact centres in its workplace.

As of this month, Huddersfield University Business School will deliver course work each week at the bank’s headquarters in Leeds. The firm is subsidising the course and it will cost staff just £100 a year.

Foundation degrees were created in 2001 to be delivered in partnership with employers as a way of recruiting people with the skills needed to improve business performance and profitability.

First Direct staff who successfully complete the foundation degree will be able to progress to study for a full honours degree in business studies.

The company has built the course to focus on what it sees are the key skills needed to develop a career within the business, both in its call centre and the rest of the operation, with financial services, business administration and management, and global marketing seen as key areas.

Jane Hanson, head of HR at the bank, said: “This degree will ensure that our customer representatives can have the tools to open up career paths within the business, should they be looking to move, or to build on the excellent job they are already doing.

“Offering the chance for staff to complete the degree at our Leeds offices will mean that people have a unique insight into the course work and their family life will not be disrupted.”

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