Pendragon has partnered with Nottingham Business School at Nottingham Trent University to offer a little known higher apprenticeship scheme.
The course was the subject of national consumer affairs programme 'You and Yours' on BBC Radio 4 yesterday.
The four year programme involves a full time service advisor job role in a dealership and studying, and results in a BA (Hons) management and leadership degree, and a level six chartered management qualification.
The team members are also on permanent contracts (not fixed term) which means they have roles at the end of their course too.
This is a sponsored degree where the company and the Government covers the cost of all tuition fees, and the university support all of the student education elements from assignments to residential study blocks.
Pendragon chief executive Trevor Finn said: “When we first heard about the course it made sense. We have a graduate programme but there seemed to be a lot of people to this alternative. It’s a good way to get talent, good people into the company. They get the work experience, we get the benefit of that.”
Nottingham Business School, corporate programmes leader Dr Polly Pick said: “This new scheme offers work experience, and results in a degree, but with no tuition fees and no student debt.
“We have partnered with organisations that offer great progression opportunities, and we plan for these students to be the managers of the future. This chartered manager degree apprenticeship is a new addition to our longstanding sponsored degree courses and we’re really pleased with the experience of the students and the results so far.”
Pendragon has 374 apprentices; five are on the higher apprenticeship scheme.
One of the five is Sam Butler (pictured), service adviser at Evans Halshaw Ford Preston.
He said: “I moved back into university education from working full-time. The degree was everything I wanted: working part-time, studying part-time with support from a university and a massive company.”