Employer partners wanted for UU's customer operations degree

  • Ulster University Business School (UUBS) is calling on employers in all industry sectors across Northern Ireland to join its Degree Apprenticeship in Customer Operations Management.

    The newly refreshed part-time BSc (Hons) Leading on Customer Operations Higher Level Apprenticeship is the first university accredited course designed to recognise the growth, professionalism and importance of leading customer operations in today’s increasingly competitive business environment.

    Starting in September 2021, the three-to-four year scheme offers NI employers an opportunity "to develop talented and knowledgeable customer operations professionals with an in-depth understanding of three critical areas; business processes, technology and customer experience."

    The programme combines practical work-based training with academic learning and is suitable for employers seeking to upskill existing staff or attract new talent.

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    Ruth Mercer, Course Director at Ulster University Business School said that the apprenticeship "is designed to meet the growing demand for customer-centric leaders who can inspire teams towards positive business change.

    "Apprentices will undertake a professionally relevant education while gaining well-rounded, real-world experience with a business, placing students in good stead for an exciting career in an ever-evolving customer operations function."

    Businesses already partnering with UUBS on the scheme include multinational banking and financial services firm, Danske Bank, global professional services organisation, PwC and international leader in digital transformation, Atos.

    Caroline Van Der Feltz, HR Director for Danske Bank commented: “At Danske Bank, our Danske Futures programme with Ulster University is one that is aligned to our wider purpose, strategy and culture as a business and employer.

    "Investing in the programme has meant that we have been able to increase the entry points to our organisation, create a pipeline of skilled colleagues to meet the future needs of our business and has helped us build stronger links with education and industry locally.

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    "With the BSc in Leading on Customer Operations, we’ve been able to work with Ulster University throughout to ensure the degree meets our needs, with reviews and adjustments to the curriculum in line with our business needs," she continued. 

    "The programme has improved our diversity and allowed us to attract talent and offer an alternative to the traditional university route to those who might not otherwise have had the opportunity to undertake a degree programme. Already, out of 20 people recruited to the programme in 2018/2019, 10 have been promoted to higher grades through competitive processes and development, with engagement extremely high within our Danske Futures colleagues.”

    Funding for Degree Apprenticeships is provided by the Department for the Economy (DfE) through the Higher Level Apprenticeship (HLA) financial support scheme. In addition, firms can avail of financial support of up to £3,700 per apprentice, through the DfE Apprenticeship Recovery Package until the 31 March 2022.

    If you are interested in providing an apprenticeship place, please contact Ulster University Business School’s Business Engagement Team at engage@ulster.ac.uk

    Further information is available on the Ulster University website.

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