'Hold the line, I'm studying'

October 13, 2006

Huddersfield University has proved itself ever ready to give employers what they want by offering a foundation degree in call-centre studies, writes Tony Tysome.

Academics from the Business School started teaching the first 20 students at the headquarters of First Direct bank in Leeds this week. As well as various aspects of customer services, students will learn about marketing, financial services, and trends and developments in the financial services industry.

Those who successfully complete the course will have the option to progress to an honours degree in areas such as business studies and global marketing.

Julie Drake, course co-ordinator, said: "Many call-centre staff do the job because of personal circumstances, but they are capable of benefiting from professional development."

Jane Hanson, head of human resources at First Direct, said: "Offering the chance to complete the degree at our Leeds office will mean people can do the coursework without disrupting their family life."

From September 2007, the course will be offered as a full-time and a part-time foundation degree.

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