Manchester Metropolitan University - Provider Spotlight

Tuesday, November 12, 2019 - 09:43

Employee Training – Why bother and why you?

The Retail Leadership Degree Apprenticeship prepares participants to face the challenges of leading in the evolving and dynamic retail environment of the 21st Century. It explores the role of leaders within retail settings, not only as managers, but also their responsibility for developing a shared strategic vision, acting as brand ambassadors, driving sales, and motivating and developing a retail-focused team.

Why Manchester Met?

Manchester Metropolitan University is one of the most popular universities in the UK, educating over 38,000 students to date. As a university, we take our responsibility for creating work-ready graduates very seriously and pride ourselves on our close links to industry and business. This philosophy has always informed our course creation and delivery, ensuring that graduates are equipped with the skills businesses require.

We have used our expertise to gain an industry-leading role in Degree Apprenticeship creation and delivery, working with employers across the North West and nationally. The Degree Apprenticeships at Manchester Met have been developed with employers, for employers.

In 2019, we received the award for Top UK university for Degree Apprenticeships. Ofsted also rated the University as an ‘outstanding’ provider of further education and skills education following an inspection in November 2018.

We work with over 330 of the UK’s leading employers, including Stateside Foods, Coca Cola, Mitchells & Butler, PizzaHut restaurants, Asda and McDonald's, and hold a 94% Employer Satisfaction rating (ESFA, 2018).

We offer all our employers an excellent package of:

  • dedicated account manager
  • recruitment support
  • up-to-date fudning and finance advise
  • regular reporting
  • in-depth skills and behaviours development 

What are your areas of specialism and why is it special?

We are the top rated University in the UK for Degree Apprenticeships and are the only university to offer the Retail Leadership Degree Apprenticeship.

This ground-breaking course combines real world best practice with innovative academic thinking and contemporary professional development. The programme is intended for existing managers and those new to the retail business.

The vocational and work-based nature of the programme will enable apprentices to develop the transferable skills required to progress within their retail career.

The Retail Leadership Degree Apprenticeship is designed for:

  • Managers or supervisors who work within an existing retail business;
  • Employees who aspire to develop into a senior retail leadership role; or
  • Employees who have managerial experience within another industry and want to progress in a retail leadership role.

What does your ideal employer look like?

The ideal employer is supportive of their Apprentices, ensuring that they can attend the training delivered at the University and allow them to complete their 20% off the job training time once they are back in the workplace. We work with Levy payers and SMEs.

How important is the food and drink sector to your business?

The Food & Drink sector is extremely important to our business. As the largest manufacturing sector in the UK, the opportunity to work strategically with Food and Drink businesses allows collaboration and even greater potential to increase innovation and productivity.

Services for the Food Manufacturing Sector enjoy significant investment and profile with the University and its strategic plan. Working with industry standard equipment and facilities, the technical team manage the practical studios, delivering professional training and advice.

The units on the Retail Leadership Degree Apprenticeship are perfectly suited to the Food and Drink sector and include:

  • Retail Marketing Environment
  • Buying and Merchandising in Retail
  • The Responsible Retailer
  • Retail Operations
  • Management and Leadership in Retail
  • Managing Customer Information
  • Retail Finance
  • Consumer Psychology and Behaviour
  • Strategic Operations and Supply Chain
  • Management in Retail
  • Contemporary Retail Strategies

What would your employers say was the best thing about your programme?

We received a 94% employer satisfaction score by the ESFA in 2018, with comments praising our great service, communication and training. Some quotes include:

“Very happy with training provider - very professional and well organised”

“Great service overall. Our apprentices are enjoying the course and the manner in which the content is being provided. Feedback has been positive. Any changes for improvements within this area have been considered and facilitated where possible.”

“Manchester Metropolitan is an excellent training provider, the staff are very responsive and extremely helpful. The courses are very well organised and the trainees performance is closely monitored to check on how they are coping with the studies and workload. What is particularly impressive, is the focus on customer feedback, regularly monitoring how the students and companies feel about the course and how it could be improved.”

What is your favourite learner comment?

A number of our students have outlined the great opportunity degree apprenticeships have given them, with our most favourite comment so far being:

“Without Degree Apprenticeships I don’t think I would have done a degree.”

Ashley Burgess, Manchester Met Degree Apprentice

What are the key things on your horizon that employers need to know?

Our start date for the programme is January 2020 and we have limited places available.

What would you like to know from an employer before responding to a proposal?

What is the key thing you would like your Apprentices to achieve by completing a Degree Apprenticeship. This is important so we can design the programme to achieve what employers want.

In light of all the reforms if you were asked to redesign the system what would you keep?

  • Degree qualifications in Degree Apprenticeships
  • Professional qualifications through Apprenticeships e.g CIPD


If you would like any more info please contact Manchester Metropolitan University on +44 (0)161 247 3720 / or visit their website


You can also find out more about the Retail Leadership Degree Apprenticeship here -