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What are Graduate Apprenticeships?

Graduate Apprenticeships provide a new way into degree-level study for individuals who are currently employed, or who want to go straight into work.

Introduced in 2016, they have quickly expanded to include more sectors to ensure more individuals and employers can take part.

Over time, more and more individuals are getting the chance to study for a degree at the same time as earning a wage. More employers are also recognising the benefits of the apprenticeships as a key part of their recruitment and workforce planning strategy.

By investing in their staff through apprenticeships, employers are developing their workforce and supporting staff to build their skills to industry and professional standards.

Smart Networks Degree Student Working | UWS Graduate Apprenticeships for 2018

What's on offer?

UWS has developed five Graduate Apprenticeships for September 2020:

Thanks to our close links with industry we understand the challenges faced by businesses to attract and retain talent and we work hard to ensure our students are equipped with both the qualifications and practical skills necessary to have a real and immediate impact within the world of work. Our students have access to cutting-edge technology, great learning facilities and academic staff who are taking part in leading research, providing them with an excellent foundation on which to build. By incorporating work-based learning through the Graduate Apprenticeship programme, our graduates enter the workplace equipped with a whole host of vital skills to enhance their career development.
Professor Craig Mahoney Principal & Vice-Chancellor at UWS | Undergraduate Apprenticeships Professor Craig Mahoney, Principal and Vice-Chancellor

Tangible business benefits

Some sectors are reporting critical skills shortages that are affecting the growth of individual organisations and the wider Scottish economy.

Graduate Apprenticeships have been developed in response to demand from industry, and are matched to industries that need employees with degree-level qualifications and real-world work experience.

UWS is delivering Graduate Apprenticeships with support from Skills Development Scotland and the European Social Fund.

Graduate Apprenticeships are already delivering tangible benefits to employers:

  • By investing in your staff through Graduate Apprenticeships you can support your workforce to develop their skills to industry and professional standards
  • Available to new and existing employees, Graduate Apprenticeships help businesses to recruit and retain talented people.
  • Graduate Apprenticeships deliver industry relevant skills and qualifications which support your business’ workforce requirements and address your skill shortages
  • Employers are actively involved in shaping programme delivery to best meet your business needs
  • Offering Graduate Apprenticeships reduces recruitment costs and supports succession planning
  • The end result is “work ready” graduates who will contribute to your business operations
At Energetics we are passionate about investing in our employees' futures and by partnering with UWS we have been able to offer excellent development opportunities across multiple business streams. The wide offering at UWS has allowed Energetics to develop staff in commercial, business and engineering functions. The innovative programme delivery has energised our Graduate Apprentices and already we can see them growing in confidence, knowledge and general business awareness. I would not hesitate to recommend the UWS GA programmes and would encourage other employers to realise their employee potential and ambition through this scheme.
Andrew Young, Training & Development Manager, Human Resources, Energetics

Success Stories

Arnold Clark employee benefits from UWS GA

Radoslaw Lewandowski, who holds the post of Associate Software Engineer at Arnold Clark, has just completed his GA programme at UWS and has already seen the benefits of the course in his job.

He said: “I have gained a lot of practical, hands on development experience during my time completing my GA which helps me in my current role to develop new software.

“I was always interested in IT and the UWS GA gave me the opportunity to be able to advance my career and gain academic qualifications whilst also still being able to provide for my family. Software developers are in high demand and I am delighted to have undertaken the course. UWS is a great university and its new modern campus in Lanarkshire is a great place to study.”

“The UWS GA gave me the opportunity to be able to advance my career and gain academic qualifications whilst also still being able to provide for my family.”

Arnold Clark has been involved in the University’s GA offering since August 2017. David Peters, Head of Digital Solutions at Arnold Clark, said: “Our UWS Graduate Apprentices go straight into the workplace from day one and are embedded into the business early, interacting with teams and getting hands on experience of the agile software development process.

“Graduate Apprenticeships provide a number of benefits, the main one is the ability for us to develop our apprentices in a way that is unique to our business.”

Andrew Begg on Graduate Apprenticeship at UWS in Engineering Design & Manufacture

Engineering a bright future at UWS

Andrew Begg, who lives in Glasgow, works as a Technical Services Engineer at Newsprinters’ Eurocentral operation in Glasgow. He benefited from undertaking a Graduate Apprenticeship (GA) in Engineering Design & Manufacture at the University’s Paisley Campus.

Andrew, who graduated in 2019, said: “I have worked as a mechanical engineer in manufacturing for 19 years which included a five year apprenticeship which began in 1998. I am committed to lifelong learning and during that time I gained an HND in mechanical engineering and an HNC in mechatronics ending in 2006. Over the last two years I have gained a CMI Level 5 in management and leadership.

“I was attracted to the GA course at UWS as I felt the content mix of core engineering and engineering management skills were a good progression from my previous experience. Studying at degree level is something I wanted to achieve for a long time but due to work commitments attending a traditional university course was not possible.”

Engineering success thanks to the UWS

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.

Max, 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.”

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Last updated: 06/04/2018

GA Employers

Just some of the leading employers who we're working with to deliver Graduate Apprenticeships.