The Walt Disney Company is launching a new initiative to pay staff to complete an advanced degree, finish high school or learn a specialised trade, ajc.com reports.
Disney Aspire, the media company’s new education initiative offers to pay hourly employees 100% of their tuition fees upfront, rather than reimbursing employees at a later date.
According to a Disney’s blog post, the company will spend $50million (£38million) this year and $25million (£19million) in 2019 on their generous Aspire program.
Around 80,000 hourly workers will be eligible for this free tuition program which is offered in partnership with Guild Education, a company which specialises in online degrees designed for working adults.
As well as covering tuition fees, Disney’s program will reimburse staff for application fees, textbooks and other learning materials in order to remove constraints that could prevent them from going to school.
And, Disney say that there is no obligation to continue working for the company once an employee has completed their degree.
Jayne Parker, Disney’s Chief HR Officer, says in an interview: “I know Disney Aspire will enable employees to reach their educational goals and pursue career aspirations — including movement into new roles at Disney, as well as careers outside of the Company.”
“In terms of what employees and Cast Members will achieve with that — all I can say is the sky’s the limit!”
Furthermore, it seems that Disney aren't the only ones footing the bill for their employees.
Restaurant chain Chipotle offer employers 90% of their tuition fees, money for books and reimbursement for fees.
Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) has initiated the REACH Educational Grant Program for hourly workers and shift supervisors who have served for at least six months. This program too provides college tuition assistance through grants, where the grant recipients can attend any accredited two-year or four-year college or trade school for free.