Coles and Deakin University have joined forces to create an academic program focused specifically on developing the skills of retailing. This can be used as credit towards a Master of Business Administration qualification.
The ‘mini-MBA’ in Strategic Category Management includes a program focused on retail-specific, technical skills. It accounts for 33% of the academic requirements for a fully-fledged MBA from Deakin.
The program, which will be made available to current Coles category managers, has been designed to strengthen the retailer’s commercial operations and provide team members with pathways to access further tertiary education.
Coles Chief Executive Commercial and Express Greg Davis says the mini-MBA will provide category managers with industry-leading training, and ensure Coles continues to be a great place to work and build a career in retail.
“Investing in team member development is central to our win together strategy and to increasing team engagement; our team are excited about how relevant this program is to their current and prospective roles,” he says.
“At Coles, category management is all about end-to-end retailing, managing every aspect of the customer offer from farm to fork. It encompasses strategic supplier engagement, supply chain optimisation and ensures we have a compelling and tailored offer across all our customer channels.
“The category management role is highly specialised, with course participants thrilled to complement their previous academic studies and vocational experience with a focussed, tailored and insights driven academic program with Deakin.”
Partnerships a priority for Deakin
Deakin Vice-Chancellor Professor Iain Martin says the university is prioritising innovative new industry partnerships as employers increasingly seek workers with specialised skill sets, paired with the interpersonal and leadership skills required in the modern workplace.
“This collaboration between Coles and Deakin demonstrates how powerful and direct the link can be between the workforce and higher education,” he says.
“The course combines practical, workplace experience with the rigour of an MBA.”
The course will be delivered by the university’s specialist workplace education division DeakinCo., said to be leveraging their expertise in innovative education, including digital and online delivery and collaboration. It will build on employees’ existing capabilities with new skills and training that allow them to obtain industry-recognised qualifications.
“DeakinCo. is one of our key conduits to industry and they are leaders in workplace education and skill recognition,” says Mr Martin.
“We are delighted to partner with Coles to deliver formal training that is both industry-focused and underpinned by the best in learning theory and design.”
DeakinCo. Executive Director and CEO Glenn Campbell adds: “This really is an exciting opportunity for current and future Coles team members to take advantage of a truly contemporary approach to workplace learning that is flexible and accessible and recognises existing knowledge, experience and capability, via the completion of a series of our workplace credentials.”