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Jennifer Kelly is advancing her career at Visual Management Systems (VMS) thanks to University of the West of Scotland’s Graduate Apprenticeship (GA) in IT: Software Development.

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.


Jennifer Kelly - software development student

Cambuslang-based Visual Management Systems has been involved in the University’s GA offering since 2018. It is a provider of complete solutions including engineering services, software and hardware to integrate the world’s largest and most complex physical security systems.

Jennifer Kelly, who holds the post of Apprentice Software Developer at VMS, will start the second year of her GA programme at UWS in September.

She said: “I was always keen to study at UWS as I had heard a lot of positive things about it from friends who study there. I had an interest in software development and I wanted to study towards a degree but I didn't want to go to university as a full-time student.

“Studying for a degree whilst working lets you develop a vast range of skills and allows me to implement my learning into my role at VMS. It also enables me to get hands-on experience within industry that helps me to understand how to use my learning within a workplace."

“The knowledge and experience I have from studying at UWS and being a graduate apprentice is already helping me to transfer skills into my role at VMS. The GA allows me to develop skills within the workplace.”
UWS Graduate Apprentice Jennifer Kelly

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.

Jay Shields, Managing Director of Visual Management Systems, said: “One of the major benefits of the GA programme is the ability to develop our employees to fit with our specific requirements. It offers us the flexibility to influence our GA with real company requirements and specific problems. 

“Jennifer has proven herself to be a potential key player within the development team, showing great willingness to learn and adapt within our software team.

“I can only see our partnership with UWS continuing to go from strength to strength as we are both keen to build on our close working relationship.”

The Graduate Apprenticeships offer a chance for apprentices to work with leading employers whilst studying for an Honours Degree at UWS. The UWS Graduate Apprenticeship BSc (Hons) IT: Software Development is a British Computer Society accredited degree which is mostly delivered through work-based learning. Typically students spend one day every two weeks at UWS, while the work and learning they do in their workplace counts towards more than three quarters of their degree.

To find out more about the BSc (Hons) IT: Software Development Graduate Apprenticeship click here or email

Last updated: 18/06/2020