Cereal and snacks giant Kellogg’s is to no longer require prospective employees to have a degree to apply for a job.
The US group said the move is part of its drive to “become a more inclusive employer” and recognise that having a degree “doesn’t always have a correlation to the contribution someone can make within a role”.
The new policy is being rolled out across the wider business after a trial within its field sales team last autumn.
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Kellogg’s, which has its UK head office at MediaCity in Salford, said it “hopes to access a much broader and more diverse group” of potential employees.
The group has cited research from the Office for Students which found people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds are less likely to progress to higher education.
Kellogg’s added that companies with a degree requirement for entry-level roles “miss talent based on the belief that being degree-educated predicts in-role success”.
However, a degree tied to a specific, regulated profession, such as legal counsel or engineers, is still required.
Chris Silcock, Kellogg’s UK managing director, said: “At Kellogg we believe everyone should have a place at the table.
“And, by ditching the need to have a degree we hope more people from different backgrounds will consider Kellogg as somewhere for their career, not just those who went to university.”
On why he decided not to go to university Sam Thornton, Kellogg’s sales director, said: ‘”I spent a while deliberating on whether university was right for me.
“When you’re surrounded by friends who are accepting places it can be tough not to follow suit, but I knew it wasn’t the path I wanted to go down.
“I chose to pursue a career in FMCG and started out by working in my local supermarket on the shop floor, I was then fortunate enough to take part in a management training program.
“Knowing I was interested in commercial roles, I began to look for opportunities in head office.
“This took a while as there wasn’t a formal pathway without a degree, however, I eventually secured an entry level role in buying and my career has gone from there.
“I was once approached directly for a role at a retailer where I had all the right experience but was unfortunately turned down due to not having a degree.
“On the whole though, I like to think deciding not to go to university gave me a head start and I have been very lucky that all of my previous employers have recognised it as such.
“Still now people are surprised to hear I haven’t got a degree and assume I must have gone to university.
“It’s always stood out to me how many companies still ask for a degree as part of job requirements, so it’s amazing to see Kellogg remove that barrier.”
Earlier this year, Kellogg’s announced it had reached its goal of having 50% male and female representation at manager level and above in the UK, three years ahead of schedule.
Kellogg’s currently has 20 vacancies at its head office while it announced in May that it is to continue with a scheme allowing employees to finish work from 12pm on Fridays.
The company employs more than 400 people in Manchester.
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