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KFC to offer staff honours degrees

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KFC will become the first quick service restaurant business in the UK to offer an Honours Degree course, in a partnership with De Montfort University Leicester (DMU).

Working with DMU, KFC has invested £600,000 to offer a bespoke three-year BA (Hons) degree in business management.

The course will combine existing KFC training with DMU's business management degree. Sixty managers will be put through the course over the next five years, with the first managers starting in January 2013.

The degree announcement is KFC's latest step towards achieving its joint goals of gaining accreditation for all of its training, and becoming the best company in the UK for training and development. The business already works with City & Guilds to offer two levels of apprenticeships; an Advanced Apprenticeship in Hospitality Management for Team Leaders, and Level Two Apprenticeships for team members in its 840 outlets across the UK and Ireland.

Already at KFC, 64% of restaurant managers, and 61% of area managers are promoted internally.

James Watts, vice president HR KFC UK & Ireland, said: "At KFC we're committed to investing in the training and development of our people, not just to enhance their skills but to help them to progress in their careers. We believe that the degree gives us the chance to reward some of our best performers who perhaps didn't get to go to university the first time round.

"We shortlisted eight UK universities as part of our search for a training partner, and we were particularly impressed by De Montfort. The flexibility of the course means that our employees can still earn money as a restaurant manager while obtaining a respected and meaningful qualification."

David Wilson, deputy vice-chancellor and dean of business and law at De Montfort University, added: "At De Montfort University, we pride ourselves on our ability to adapt our skills and services to match the needs of business.

"This is an important new contract for De Montfort University and we're delighted to have this opportunity of working with such a major player in the global restaurant market."

In addition, KFC, which employs over 23,000 people, has experienced 24 consecutive quarters of sales growth and is investing £24million to open 35 stores this year, creating 1,600 new jobs.