Graduate apprenticeships expanded

More opportunities for work-based learning.

Hundreds of people will have the opportunity to study for degree-level courses while in employment thanks to a significant expansion of Graduate Level Apprenticeships.

A total of 379 places will be made available for individuals to study for a degree, up to Masters level, while in work in 2017/18. This builds on the investment that delivered a successful pilot of 27 places in 2016/17. 

Skills Development Scotland (SDS) is working with businesses, universities and colleges to deliver Graduate Level Apprenticeships. The programme aims to meet the needs of employers looking for high levels of academic and industry accreditation combined with experience in the workplace. 

Minister for Employability and Training Jamie Hepburn said:

“We carried out a consultation with employers, which identified a need for skills that better support businesses and help them grow.

“As a result we have committed to expanding the number of Graduate Level Apprenticeships, broadening access to higher education and increasing adult participation, as well as developing the capabilities and skill sets of organisations and individuals.

“By creating the opportunity to combine an academic degree with the challenges of the workplace, we are better preparing individuals for the job market and ensuring we match the right skills and training to available employment.

“These new opportunities will support our wider Modern Apprenticeship offering, including the commitment to 30,000 apprenticeships per year by 2020, complementing the 5,000 Foundation Apprenticeship places for school pupils.”

Director of the Centre for Work-based Learning David Coyne said: 

“Skills Development Scotland has developed Graduate Level Apprenticeships as a way for individuals to develop the necessary knowledge, skills and competence required by Scottish industries. 

“Robert Gordon University is a great example of a university working with local employers.  Because they have been developed with employers, Graduate Level Apprenticeships ensure that learners gain the necessary knowledge and skills required for their chosen area of work.”

The Sparrows Group is one of the employers to sign up for the Graduate Level Apprenticeships. 

Ewen Kerr, executive director of engineering and operations said: 

“We have a long history of providing opportunities to people beginning their careers in the energy industry as graduates and apprentices. This has been integral to our success as a company and the Graduate Level Apprenticeship builds on that tradition. 

“We’re very proud to have two of our employees taking part in the first GLA programme and we see huge benefits for them and the organisation in combining a degree level education with practical work experience.”

Robert Gordon University's Principal, Professor Ferdinand von Prondzynski, said: 

“Having been the first university in Scotland to confirm the structure and content of the Graduate Level Apprenticeships (GLAs) back in March, we welcome the news that the scheme have been expanded and will give access to more young apprentices. This is also fully in keeping with our membership of the Centre for Work-Based Learning.

“GLAs represent an innovation across teaching and learning that will help young people into skilled employment and support the Scottish economy. We are proud to play a role in this pioneering scheme with our industry partners and the Skills Development Scotland team.”


More information on apprenticeships.


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