Shop Direct, the online retail giant behind Littlewoods and Very.co.uk, has signed a deal with the University of Liverpool to develop a joint programme of activity across data and digital careers, as well as marketing and finance.
The partnership will include working with academics to embed real world business projects into course modules and offering internship opportunities and graduate roles to the university’s students.
Shop Direct will also support a series of events led by the university’s careers and employability team, at which the retailer’s leaders will talk to students about their career journeys to provide inspiration, support and advice on maximising employability.
The company has its roots in Littlewoods mail order business but has been undergoing a major digital transformation over the past few years and is now one of the biggest online shopping brands in the UK.
Earlier this year, the company – which is poised to rebrand as The Very Group – appointed a new tech leadership team, headed by former Sky Betting & Gaming chief Andy Burton to ramp up its digital transformation. He now leads the group’s 275-strong technology team.
Shop Direct talent, culture and communications director Helen Miller said: “We’re proud to partner with the University of Liverpool to develop the next generation of talent. Gaining experience in the workplace and of real life business projects helps undergraduates to develop their employability skills and stand out when they enter the job market.
“We also want to show students that the North West is a hub for great tech and data careers, and specifically encourage more young women to apply for roles in these fields at businesses like Shop Direct.”
University of Liverpool director of careers and employability Emma Moore added: “We continually review the way we engage with employers to ensure that we remain relevant to the working world.
"Our partnership with Shop Direct, and the company’s refreshing approach to student and graduate recruitment, makes it possible for us to try innovative ways to expose students to industry connections throughout their university journey and ensure our graduates are prepared for work.
“It is fantastic to see so many of our students and graduates successfully securing roles within the business as a direct result of our collaboration.”