Asda has rolled out a programme which will allow its staff to train for a degree while working for the grocer.

Asda will fund the BA (Hons) Degree progamme, in partnership with Middlesex University, following a pilot last year.

The three-year programme will offer 30 Asda employees the opportunity to study for a degree in either distribution or retail operations, while retaining a salaried position in store.

The scheme involves 12 days of workshops, assessments, an online study and peer networking.

Asda said students on the retail degree will learn about merchandising, the retail environment, managing and developing people and managing retail operations to maximise a profit.

Those on the distribution programme will study specific modules in supply chain management and logistics.

The retailer will select applicants on performance and potential in store.

Asda executive people director Hayley Tatum said: “The current economic climate - coupled with the spiraling costs of higher education - means that many of our colleagues have missed out on university degrees.

“By providing the opportunity to study for a degree, we hope that we can open more doors for our colleagues, developing their skills for the future. Through the programme, we hope to create a pool of home grown talent, the future leaders of Asda.”