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Nestlé & Sheffield Hallam University launch ‘Earn While They Learn’ scheme for School Leavers

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A unique scheme that allows school-leavers to 'earn while they learn' by placing them in a salaried training role while they study for their degree has been launched by Nestlé, in partnership with Sheffield Hallam University.

The Nestlé Academy Fast Start Programme is the first of its kind in the food industry and has already received hundreds of applications for the 12 places on offer. 

At the end of the three year programme successful participants will be offered a job within the company. During their training they will gain work experience across a broad range of commercial roles at Nestlé, alongside a BA (Hons) in Professional Business Practice from Sheffield Hallam University.

The commercial trainees will be paid a salary whilst they complete the programme, and their tuition fees will be entirely paid for by Nestlé.

student mentoring

Fiona Kendrick, Chairman and CEO Nestlé UK and Ireland said: “I am delighted to be launching such an innovative scheme giving young people yet another entry point into Nestlé. With declining numbers of 18- 24 year olds, an ageing population and a predicted decline in graduate numbers, we need to make a career in the food industry a career of choice.

She added: “We need a commercially driven workforce for the future and are looking for individuals with potential. The Nestlé Academy Fast Start Programme not only allows young people to earn while they learn but also to gain invaluable business skills and experience whilst working towards the academic achievement of a degree.   Added to that they are given an opportunity to develop an exciting and rewarding career with Nestlé with opportunities both in the UK and all over the globe.”

During the first two years the commercial trainees will rotate between the Sales, Marketing, Human Resources and Supply Chain functions in real jobs working on real-life projects. In the third year they will specialise into a specific business area, based on Nestlé’s business needs, their preferences and strengths for a particular role. Alongside the commercial experience the commercial trainees will complete 5 blocks of 5-day study release based at Sheffield Hallam University.

This unique programme will enable the trainees to get a flavour of each function so that they can experience firsthand what working at Nestlé is really like before specialising. By working in different areas of the business they will also develop a solid general business acumen. Mentors are assigned for the duration of the programme to ensure each commercial trainee gets the most out of their learning experience and receives support and advice in any areas that they may need.

Professor Adrian Hopgood, Pro Vice Chancellor of Sheffield Business School at Sheffield Hallam University said: “At Sheffield Hallam University we are committed to working closely with industry to produce work-ready graduates, and we offer a range of innovative flexible learning routes so that our students can learn in a way that best suits their needs.

"This programme is unique in that it recruits participants with school leaver qualifications, rather than at postgraduate level. We believe that the students will benefit hugely from being able to apply the theory they learn at University directly into the workplace to solve real-life business issues.

"Nestlé will benefit from the ideas and enthusiasm of these bright and committed young people. These students will still graduate alongside their peers, but with a host of relevant work experience to add to their CV, and a guaranteed job with a major global company."  

Nestlé is now recruiting for 12 places to start in September 2013 with candidates needing a minimum of 300 UCAS points (BBB excluding General Studies). Anyone interested in finding out more or applying should go to

For further information please call the Nestlé UK Press Office on 0208 667 6005 or email at [email protected]

Nestlé Academy

The Nestlé Academy was launched in 2011, bringing together Nestlé’s graduate and apprentice programmes, direct entry schemes and vocational training courses. The academy offers flexible entry points to attract people at different life stages, and provides an alternative route to education, offering NVQs and degree-level qualifications.

For more information on the Nestlé Academy click here