Supermarket giant Coles has partnered with Deakin University to forge an academic program focused on teaching the skills necessary in retailing, which can be used as credit toward a Master of Business Administration.
The Strategic Category Management program, which accounts for 33 per cent of the requirement for a Deakin MBA, will be made available to current Coles category managers and is expected to provide industry-leading training and strengthen Coles’ commercial operations.
“Investing in team member development is central to our Win Together strategy, and to increasing team engagement,” said Coles’ chief executive of commercial and express Greg Davis.
“Our team are excited about how relevant this program is to their current and prospective roles.”
According to Davis, the program is highly specialised, with category management at Coles encompassing 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,” Davis said.
Deakin’s vice-chancellor Professor Iain Martin said the University is targeting industry collaborations due to employers’ want for workers with more specialised skill sets, paired with interpersonal and leadership skills.
“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,” Martin said.