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University of the West of Scotland (UWS) has been approved by Skills Development Scotland (SDS) to design and deliver four Graduate Apprenticeship (GA) programmes which get underway in September 2018.

The programmes in IT Software Development, Engineering Design & Manufacture, Civil Engineering and Business Management, will be delivered by the University’s School of Engineering and Computing and School of Business and Enterprise respectively.

UWS is working in partnership with SDS to deliver these four GA programmes, which have been developed in response to demand from industry. The Graduate Apprenticeships offer a chance for apprentices to work with leading employers whilst studying for an Honours Degree at UWS.

This is the second consecutive year that UWS has received approval from SDS for the delivery of GAs. With three out of four employers in Scotland reporting critical skill shortages that are affecting their productivity and growth, added to the fact that more than 70% of Scottish employers think that job applicants lack technical, practical or job specific skills, GAs have never been more important.

By combining academic learning with real-time practical experience in the workplace, the GA programmes will deliver industry-relevant skills and qualifications. GAs are developed in partnership with employers to ensure that the learning is relevant to industry and that apprentices can apply their learning in the workplace immediately.

Civil engineering student
We are delighted to be delivering these four Graduate Apprenticeship programmes that will meet the needs of industry as well as providing a wider range of opportunities for even more young people.
Professor Craig Mahoney, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of UWS

Professor Craig Mahoney, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of UWS, said: “At UWS we understand the challenges that businesses face in attracting and retaining talent and continually strive to re-focus our provision for the benefit of industry and graduates.

“We are delighted to be delivering these four Graduate Apprenticeship programmes that will meet the needs of industry as well as providing a wider range of opportunities for even more young people.”

Apprentices are employed throughout the duration of their studies, allowing them to combine academic learning at one of Scotland’s largest modern universities with practical learning in the workplace. By investing in their workforce through GAs, employers are able to support new and existing staff to develop their skills to industry and professional standards

For employees, GAs provide an opportunity to access the same learning opportunities as those who follow the traditional route of direct entry into University, whilst gaining practical work experience. Advanced entry to the GA programmes is also possible for employees who can evidence previous industry relevant skills and qualifications.

For employers, their employee’s learning can be customised to ensure the best fit with business needs and because the apprentices spend the majority of their time in the workplace, they are contributing to the productivity of the business at a much earlier stage. The end result is ‘industry ready’ graduates who understand their business.

Graduate Apprenticeships have the potential to transform the way that young people access further and higher education, and its clear from the demand that many companies and Universities feel the same way.
Jonathan Clark, Director of Service Design & Innovation at SDS

Skills Development Scotland, Director of Service Design and Innovation, Jonathan Clark, said: “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.”

Find out more about GA at UWS