Kellogg’s has announced that having a degree will no longer be a requirement for most jobs at the company.

The cereal and snacks giant said the move was part of its drive to become a more inclusive employer by reducing barriers to a job and recognising that having a degree does not always reflect the contribution someone can make.

The change was trialled with the Field Sales team last autumn and is being rolled out to the wider business.

Sam Thornton, Kellogg’s sales director, said it was tough not going to university when friends were accepting places.

He started working on the shop floor in a local supermarket before going on a management training programme.

“People are surprised to hear I haven’t got a degree and assume I must have gone to university,” he said.

“It’s always stood out to me how many companies still ask for a degree as part of job requirements, so it’s amazing to see Kellogg remove that barrier.”

Chris Silcock, Kellogg’s UK managing director, said: “At Kellogg we believe everyone should have a place at the table and by ditching the need to have a degree we hope more people from different backgrounds will consider Kellogg as somewhere for their career, not just those who went to university.”

A degree tied to a specific regulated profession, such as legal counsel or engineers, is still required.

Rosalind Goates, head of advocacy and campaigns at the Social Mobility Foundation said: “Talent is everywhere but opportunity is not.

“It is encouraging to see top employers such as Kellogg’s recognise this and remove degree requirements for roles where they are not needed. Doing so allows organisations to assess candidates based on their potential and skills and ensures employers attract from the widest talent pool.

“We welcome Kellogg’s decision and hope more employers will follow suit to create a society where talent from all backgrounds is nurtured, harnessed and rewarded.”