Scotland's new centre for work-based learning has been launched at a ceremony in Edinburgh to coincide with Scottish Apprenticeship Week.
The Centre is a partnership between Skills Development Scotland (SDS), Heriot-Watt University, Strathclyde University and Robert Gordon University.
The Centre will help to bring about a quiet revolution in the way skills are developed through a work-based learning system that delivers for the people and businesses of Scotland.
The Centre aims to establish the value of work-based learning in the education and training system as well as championing the contribution it can make to increasing productivity and supporting inclusive economic growth.
Damien Yeates, chief executive of SDS said: “The Centre will help to bring about a quiet revolution in the way skills are developed through a work-based learning system that delivers for the people and businesses of Scotland.
“Work-based learning widens access to higher education, increases adult participation and develops the capabilities and skills sets of organisations and individuals.
“The continued development of Graduate Level Apprenticeships will be vital to the work of the Centre. They open up another option for professionals to access high-quality education and develop skills relevant to them and for business without pausing their careers.”
Last month, Heriot-Watt University announced that it has been awarded funding for 25 places on three Graduate Level Apprenticeships: IT Management for Business; IT Software Development; Engineering, Design & Manufacturing.
The University will develop and deliver the apprenticeships in partnership with industry, to combine academic knowledge with the skills development and workplace training required by employers.
Apprentices will spend most of their time in the workplace, be paid throughout the apprenticeship, and leave the programme with an honours degree from Heriot-Watt University.
Dr Gillian Murray, deputy principal, Business and Enterprise, attended the launch. She said: "Heriot-Watt University is delighted to be a partner in the new Centre for Work-Based Learning. We see the Centre for Work-Based Learning as the focus of efforts to promote high quality learning experiences by researching and sharing best practice, measuring impact and promoting work-based learning to the stakeholders in education, training and employment.
"The partnership offers great opportunities for our researches to engage in collaborative research with the other CWBL partners on important challenges that will have significant social and economic impact."
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.
The Centre for Work-based Learning in Scotland will be distributed across the partners with a hub located within Strathclyde University's International Public Policy Institute.
PICTURED: Dr Gillian Murray from Heriot-Watt University (far right) is joined by (L-R) Benjamin Schiller DHBW; Professor Stefan Funfgeld DHBW; David Wilson, Executive Director, International Public Policy Institute Publications; Damien Yeates, Chief Executive of SDS; Jamie Hepburn, MSP Minister for Employability and Training; James Dunphy, Robert Gordon University.