Nestlé and Serco first employers to train professional managers through new Degree Apprenticeship

Launch of new Government-backed Degree Apprenticeship will tackle the “ineffective managers draining British productivity”

The UK’s first Degree Apprenticeship has been launched with Barclays, Nestlé and Serco among the first to offer the training. Within weeks, Virgin Media, the Civil Service and many other employers will be taking on new management apprentices. The launch of the apprenticeship addresses a blind-spot in UK business education, with 71% of UK organisations admitting they fail to effectively train first time managers.[1]

The new Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship has been developed by a group of 40 employers and universities, led by Serco and supported by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI). The scheme was given the green light in July by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills. This course is among the first of the Degree Apprenticeships offered under the Government’s Trailblazer programme, which was announced in March by Prime Minister David Cameron.

The Degree Apprenticeship is aimed at helping meet the requirements of a growing UK economy needing more than one million new managers by 2020.[2] Under the scheme, managers who complete the apprenticeship will earn a degree in management and business and become a Chartered Manager.

Skills Minister Nick Boles said:

“By uniting the very best of higher education with work-based learning, we are transforming the routes into top management jobs. Great businesses are run by great managers and I am confident many of tomorrow’s business leaders will learn their trade through the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship.”

Nine higher education institutions*, including Sheffield Hallam and Anglia Ruskin, are among the first to offer the Degree Apprenticeship to employers. It is expected that many more universities will offer the course in the next academic year.

The four-year courses bring together a world-class business education, work-based learning and professional development through to Chartered Manager status, tailored to the needs of employers and employees. The Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship will provide work-based learning for both non-graduate existing managers as well as school leavers.

Apprentices will follow a programme developed by employers, CMI and the Chartered Association of Business Schools, ensuring they earn degrees from renowned universities and business schools. Apprentices become members of CMI and will attain Chartered Manager status by the end of their apprenticeship. Chartered Manager is the highest accreditation that can be achieved in the management profession**.

Ann Francke, Chief Executive of the Chartered Management Institute, commented:

“People are being asked to lead without training or support, with ineffective managers draining British productivity. Today’s launch finally addresses the core issue that a third of managers are rated as ineffective by their teams, a key cause for the UK’s poor performance in productivity. The new Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship ties together the training offered by educators and employers, with apprentices offered the threefold guarantee of a quality degree, on-the-job experience and a professional pathway for future development.”

Liz Benison, Chief Executive of Serco’s UK and Europe Local and Regional Government Business, said:

“By nurturing new talent and developing skilled and professional managers, we can better support our teams to deliver essential public services for our customers. That’s why we at Serco wanted to lead this important work and develop the standards for the first degree-level apprenticeship in management. We are proud to have played a part in creating a high-quality and robust qualification which will not only contribute to the successful development of our own employees, but also the wider UK economy. Poor management inhibits performance and growth so I would urge all employers to make use of this apprenticeship and invest in tomorrow’s leaders.” 

Haleema Baker-Mir, 18, of Halifax who has just begun her apprenticeship with Nestlé said:

“At school I always preferred to learn by doing, and so I felt an apprenticeship was the right course for me. I find it incredible that at the age of 21, I’ll have not only a degree but also a professional status. I’ll already be in a role with a job under my belt and I’ll have the work experience I feel I’ll be in a better position”

Employers from across the country are being urged to get involved in Degree Apprenticeships so that many thousands of apprentices can complete the new apprenticeships by the end of the decade, helping meet the requirements of a growing UK economy needing more than one million new managers by 2020.[3]

Designed for all sizes of organisation, the apprenticeship is set to be adopted across the Civil Service, and the Birmingham City Council being among the first in the public sector to commit.

For more information, including details of the business schools ready to deliver the programme, visit:

Twitter: @cmi_managers #MgtApprenticeship




Further information:

For further information, interviews or case studies of the apprentices or employers please contact:

James Ralph or Matt Robshaw of Good Relations
+44 (0) 20 7861 3037

Notes to editors

Dame Fiona Kendrick, Chairman and CEO of Nestlé UK and Ireland said: “Nestlé is delighted to be part of this programme, the first of its kind in the food and drink industry. It forms part of our commitment to growing and developing our future business leaders, and offers an alternative entry point to a career for young, talented school leavers. The combination of practical, commercial experience at Nestlé and academic excellence at Sheffield Hallam is giving young people the skills that they need to become the successful business leaders of the future.”

*The nine higher education institutions currently offering the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship to employers are:

  • Aston Business School
  • BPP University
  • Bristol Business School
  • Hertfordshire Business School
  • Lord Ashcroft International Business School, Anglia Ruskin University
  • Manchester Metropolitan University Business School
  • Nottingham Business School
  • Sheffield Business School, Sheffield Hallam University
  • Southampton Solent University, School of Business and Law

**According to the latest research, on average Chartered Managers each add £391K of value to their employers

About CMI
  • The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) is the only chartered professional body for management and leadership, dedicated to improving managers’ skills and growing the number of qualified managers.
  • Our professional management qualifications span GCSE to PhD equivalent levels, including the unique Chartered Manager award, which increases earnings potential and improves workplace performance.
  • We provide employers and individual managers with access to the latest management thinking and with practical online support which helps them embrace change, create high performing teams and keep ahead of the curve.
  • With a member community of 120,000+ managers and leaders, we promote high standards of ethical practice through our Professional Code of Conduct, and help managers build their expertise through online networks, regional events and mentoring opportunities.
About Serco

Serco is a leading provider of public services. Our customers are governments or others operating in the public sector. We gain scale, expertise and diversification by operating internationally across five sectors and four geographies: Defence, Justice & Immigration, Transport, Health and Citizen Services, delivered in UK & Europe, North America, Asia Pacific and the Middle East. More information can be found at

[1] Management 2020 – Report from the commission on the future of management and leadership July 2014

[2] Statistical Bulletin: International Comparisons of Productivity – Final Estimates, 2012, ONS, 20 February 2014

[3] Statistical Bulletin: International Comparisons of Productivity – Final Estimates, 2012, ONS, 20 February 2014