Case study

Developing new professions for new businesses: Funding for new Graduate Apprenticeships

23 Mar 2017

The University of the West of Scotland (UWS) has been awarded funding of over £2m from Skills Development Scotland (SDS) to design and deliver Graduate Level Apprenticeship programmes in Software Development and Engineering: Design and Manufacturing.

The School of Engineering and Computing will offer the two new work-based learning programmes in areas where skills gaps have been identified. Set to get underway in June 2017, with a total of 60 places available, the graduate level apprenticeships offer a chance for apprentices to work with leading employers whilst studying for an Honours Degree at UWS.  

Apprentices will be employed by leading organisations, allowing them to combine academic learning at one of Scotland’s largest modern universities with practical learning in the workplace. By investing in their staff through these apprenticeships, employers will be able to develop their workforce and support staff to develop their skills to industry and professional standards.

Professor Craig Mahoney, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, said: “As an industry-focussed University, we understand the challenges that businesses face in attracting and retaining talent in key industry sectors such as IT and Engineering. A well trained, qualified and knowledgeable workforce is critical in ensuring the economic prosperity of these important areas and we are delighted to have received funding to provide Graduate Level Apprenticeships that will meet this need and provide a wider range of opportunities for even more young people.”

Professor Ian Allison, Dean of the School of Engineering and Computing, said: “These Graduate Level Apprenticeships will see us build on the existing close links that we enjoy with businesses and industry. They will be hugely beneficial to both employers and employees.”

Graduate Level Apprenticeships have been developed by SDS in partnership with employers, universities and colleges and professional bodies to create stronger links between education and industry.

Jonathan Clark, Director of Service Design and Innovation at Skills Development Scotland said: “Graduate Level Apprenticeships have the potential to transform the way that young people access further and higher education.

“Graduate Apprentices will be employed during their studies and because much of the learning takes place in the workplace they will have the opportunity to immediately apply what they learn at college or university in their jobs – and vice versa.

“This provides opportunities for employers to help shape the skills of their employees and to address skills shortages affecting their industry and the local economy.

“SDS is delighted to be working with University of the West of Scotland to deliver two Graduate Level Apprenticeships in software development and engineering and we look forward to working together to develop the skills employers need.”