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Thanks to University of the West of Scotland’s Graduate Apprenticeship (GA) in Civil Engineering a school leaver is getting the chance to start a career in the civil engineering sector, working for George Leslie Ltd in Barrhead, whilst also studying for a university degree.

Max Blanchflower is benefiting from studying the UWS GA in Civil Engineering along with a full-time post as a Trainee Site Engineer at George Leslie.

By combining academic learning with real-time practical experience in the workplace, the University’s GA programmes 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.

UWS enjoys close links with George Leslie, which is committed to recruiting two school leavers every two years with a view to them joining the BEng (Hons) Civil Engineering GA at UWS.

Max, 18, who is now in the second year of BEng (Hons) Civil Engineering GA, said: “The Graduate Apprenticeship has been a fantastic opportunity for me, enabling me to have a full-time job whilst studying towards a degree. The GA will really help my career development at George Leslie and my goal of becoming a fully-qualified engineer.

“There are so many benefits of studying a GA – the hands-on skills that you learn can be applied immediately to the workplace.”

The Graduate Apprenticeship has been a fantastic opportunity for me, enabling me to have a full-time job whilst studying towards a degree.
Max Blanchflower

John McNaught, who recently retired as Managing Director of George Leslie, played a key role in the introduction of GAs at the company. Despite his retirement he will continue to be engaged with the GA mentoring programme at George Leslie.

John said: “George Leslie has had a demonstrable track record of recruitment of school leavers who have shown an aptitude and an interest in pursuing civil engineering as a career. The University’s GA programme is an ideal way for us to develop our talent.

“George Leslie recognises the benefits of combining work-based learning with academic study in parallel under the GA programme and the meaningful value which is attached to the apprentices’ experience gained in the work place.

“One of the main benefits of recruiting via a GA is that upon completing their degree, they will be work-ready and indeed will already be making a positive contribution in the workplace. This applies not only in the working environment, but also in the behaviours and culture of the company.  It is anticipated that the years of shared learning, academically and vocationally will equip the GA with the tools with which to develop in the work place as a high-performing civil engineer.

“George Leslie is committed to investing in the development of young adults in the civil engineering workplace and will be looking to recruit two school leavers every second year to progress through the GA programme.  George Leslie is confident that the combination of the practical, work-based experience coupled with the structured academic learning will deliver able and confident civil engineers to contribute to the successful delivery of a wide variety of projects. The company looks forward to continuing to work with UWS on the GA programme to provide the best tailored training for the industry in the years ahead.”

The company looks forward to continuing to work with UWS on the GA programme to provide the best tailored training for the industry in the years ahead
John McNaught

UWS is working in partnership with Skills Development Scotland to deliver its GA programmes, which have been developed in response to demand from industry. 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.

The Graduate Apprenticeships offer a chance for apprentices to work with leading employers whilst studying for an Honours Degree at UWS. This GA in Civil Engineering is a Work Based Learning degree which is mostly delivered in the workplace, ensuring that the content is aligned to industry needs. Typically students spend one day per week at UWS, with the work and learning they do in their workplace   making a significant contribution towards their degree.

To find out more about the BSc (Hons) Civil Engineering Graduate Apprenticeship click here  or email apprenticeships@uws.ac.uk

Last updated: 24/10/2019