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APSCo Unveils Game-Changing MBA Programme for Recruitment Profession


The Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) has partnered with one of the most internationally recognised and long-established business schools in Europe, Cranfield School of Management, and leading business and financial adviser, Grant Thornton UK LLP, to deliver the first ever Executive MBA in Human Capital.

The new programme – which is tailored for the recruitment profession – meets the requirements of the UK Level 7 Senior Leader Master’s Degree Apprenticeship Standard and is designed for middle to senior managers and for those on a fast-track career path within their organisation.

For recruitment firms with Apprenticeship Levy pots, two-thirds of the cost of the EMBA in Human Capital can be covered through the initiative. For those without access to Levy funds, APSCo has secured the agreement of a number of member MSPs and umbrella companies which have unused levy pot funds, for a transfer of up to 25% of those funds to APSCo members that wish to undertake this EMBA. APSCo also has a number of £2000 bursaries to award in addition to the funding available through the apprenticeship levy to assist members in sending delegates.

The two year programme will develop employees’ leadership and business abilities with a specific focus on applying these skills in talent acquisition. Core modules include operations, marketing, strategic management, data analytics, leadership and finance before specialising in a number of specific modules which are tailored for the recruitment profession.

On the launch, Ann Swain, Global CEO at APSCo, commented:

“Until now, there has not been access to a high-level professional course tailored specifically so that it is relevant for those within the recruitment, staffing and HR arenas – and this is something that those who specialise in these fields both desire and deserve.

“In APSCo’s 20th year, the launch of this programme is both incredibly exciting and truly game-changing and we are extremely proud that we are able to bring a business qualification of this calibre to the market.

“For recruitment firms, the benefits of upskilling individuals to MBA level should not be underestimated: professionals are exposed to the very latest managerial thinking and trends in human capital. Delegates receive an industry-leading education which is delivered by current practitioners. This enables your colleagues to develop their knowledge, skills and abilities so that they can apply what they learn immediately in the workplace to bring the business forward. For recruitment professionals, whether you are working in a recruiting firm or within a corporate internal resourcing or HR department, this qualification is for you.

“APSCo has no commercial interest in this venture. Through heightening the academic and career opportunities we are able to offer our people, we are cementing recruitment’s position as a career of choice, rather than a sector that people ‘fall’ into.

“Initial interest in the programme has been phenomenal and I am itching to welcome the first cohort of delegates in September as we take our next step towards demonstrating the undisputable professionalism of our sector.”

Emma Parry, Professor of Human Resource Management at Cranfield School of Management, said:

“Today’s leaders in the areas of human resource management, staffing and talent not only need subject expertise but also broader leadership and business skills as well as the ability to draw on data and technology to support a people strategy.  Too often we see excellent people professionals fail to make the step up to senior management or board level because they lack the broader understanding of their organisations or the analytical skills that would allow them to contribute to development and implementation of organisational strategy.”

Keely Woodley, Partner and Human Capital Lead at Grant Thornton UK LLP, added:

“I am delighted to have played a part in bringing a world-class EMBA to the human capital sector with APSCo and Cranfield. Through my interactions with business leaders in the sector, it is clear to me how much more can be achieved by business leaders, in terms of growth and success, when rigorous training and application of thought leadership is added to the pre-existing skill set of entrepreneurship, drive and motivation.   Working closely with our partners we have listened to the market and, based on our insight of what makes truly great leaders, have developed a curriculum that responds to the needs of modern, dynamic organisations.  Combining the best of academic insight and commercial application the programme, which can be partially funded by Apprenticeship Levy payments, will equip people with the know-how and confidence to stand out from the crowd, enhance their ability to lead innovation and encourage them to deliver transformational and sustainable results.”

The first intake for the Executive MBA (Human Capital) is September 2019, then January, April and September each year.


With over 15 years experience within the Recruitment industry, Mark considers digital publishing, digital engagement, recruitment marketing and advertising (all media), digital video production, creative design and more recently social media development as his core knowledge and where a lot of his experience lays.

Having been at the forefront of the digital publishing sector for well over a decade, Mark has founded numerous job boards and publishing businesses.

He has very strong business ethics, built on transparency and trust and equally as important, he enjoys close working relationships with all clients. A self-confessed digital geek Mark lives and breathes online media ensuring Recruitment Buzz stays ahead of the curve.


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