17 March 2005 | Cara Whitehouse
Aircraft engine maker Rolls-Royce this month launched an MSc programme specifically for purchasers, focusing on global supply chain management.
Thirty purchasers each year will be eligible for the degree, set up to ensure the company attracts and retains purchasing staff.
The company may also introduce the chance to gain an NVQ level 4 qualification later this year. The move is part of the company's aim that three-quarters of staff should be professionally qualified by the end of 2005.
Mike Hopkins, head of employee and organisation development at Rolls-Royce global purchasing, told SM: "Purchasing is a growing profession with increasing business significance. It is important that we make the company attractive to purchasers looking to join as well as those we want to retain."
The MSc degree is accredited by the University of Southampton, but some courses will be run at the University of Nottingham.
The company also wants 75 per cent of purchasers to be members of their relevant professional institute, such as CIPS or the Institute of Quality Assurance, by the end of the year.
Both targets will rise to 95 per cent by 2009, he said.