Ridgeons graduate Adam Thompson.

Ridgeons celebrates graduates’ success

Published:  22 November, 2012

CHELMSFORD: A pioneering group of fifteen Ridgeons employees celebrated graduating from Anglia Ruskin University last month at the Chelmsford campus, having been the first to successfully achieve The Ridgeons Foundation Degree in Management.

The work based learning qualification, developed by Ridgeons in collaboration with Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), was introduced to help support the Group in its succession planning strategy, by developing a future talent pool from existing employees already within the business.

Part funded through the Government’s Higher Skills at Work initiative, the two year qualification was launched in March 2010. In order to fulfil the requirements of the qualification, candidates committed to 15 hours of home study per week, the completion of six academic assignments, two work-based projects and twelve weekend tutorial sessions at the University. The qualification modules included finance, project management, marketing, leadership and work-based projects.

Of the 19 Ridgeons employees, ranging from counter staff to general managers, who embarked upon the qualification, 15 graduated in July 2012, all achieving at least a merit. Of those 15, nine have since been promoted to more senior positions. Four of the graduates, Adam Thompson, Fran Liston, Steve Sinclair and Dan Austin, are continuing with their studies at Anglia Ruskin University and are working towards achieving a BA (Hons) in Management.

Ridgeons graduate Adam Thompson said; “I would definitely recommend The Ridgeons Foundation Degree in Management course to my peers. My outlook on business has certainly changed, and I have gained a much more rounded view of the company I work for and the overall business environment; something I would not have acquired so comprehensively otherwise.”

Angela Rushforth, managing director, Ridgeons Group added: “There has never been a greater need to equip our managers with strong skill sets to enable them, and the company, to adapt to an increasingly complex and competitive market. The Ridgeons Foundation Degree in Management represents an excellent and logical progression from our existing management development tools.

"I can really see a difference in my managers that have completed the course. They have a more strategic and external commercial awareness when they submit project proposals for consideration and they are growing our business for the future."

After the first year, the qualification was deemed such a success that Ridgeons has decided to open the course to its employees for a second intake. In addition to high interest from within Ridgeons, the course has built on this success and is now available to candidates outside of the Ridgeons Group.

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