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Loughborough’s Earn to Learn scheme could keep more jobs UK-based

Graduate jobs are on the decline as companies look to outsource their middle management roles. But one academic’s surprise solution could not only stop the flow of UK jobs going overseas, but also provide current students with financial assistance and improved career prospects.

The rise of Shared Service Centres in the UK and overseas means a wide range of UK-based office roles are under threat.

As well as reducing the number of mid-level jobs in the UK (creating an hourglass shaped economy and hindering promotion opportunities), delayering also prevents graduates from getting that first step on the career ladder as entry level jobs face decline.

The Association of Graduate Recruiters reported graduate recruitment to top organisations fell 8% in 2016. This is predicted to worsen as more companies move business support services overseas.  

The solution?

Ian Herbert says students could provide the answer. His proposed Earn to Learn Scheme sees current students providing a flexible and affordable resource for companies in the UK – enabling scholars to leave University work-ready and with less debt, and giving companies a strong incentive to keep their workforce UK-based.

His vision is one of shared service hubs set up close to university campuses, so students can undertake part-time work alongside their studies (typically 10 hours per week in back office administrative roles across finance, operations and HR).

Government funding can be available for new graduate apprenticeship schemes, making them a cost-effective option.

Members of the business and academic communities will meet in Loughborough next week to discuss the role students can play in providing employers with a flexible and cost-effective workforce.

Academics in the University’s Centre for Global Sourcing and Services will share their research and recommendations alongside representatives from the Department of International Trade

Earn to Learn: Doing the right thing for the next generation? takes place at Loughborough University’s School of Business and Economics from 9.30am to 4pm on Thursday 8 December. To register for this free event, email Ruth Cufflin on

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: PR 16/155

Loughborough University is equipped with a live in-house broadcast unit via the Globelynx network. To arrange an interview with one of our experts please contact the press office on 01509 223491. Bookings can be made online via

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, putting it among the best universities in the world, and was named the best in the country for its student experience in the 2016 THE Student Experience Survey. Loughborough was ranked 4th in the Guardian University League Table 2017 and 7th in The UK Complete University Guide 2017 and was also named Sports University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017, and University of the Year in the What Uni Student Choice Awards 2015.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

In September 2015 the University opened an additional academic campus in London’s new innovation quarter. Loughborough University London, based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities.

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