Graduate Apprenticeships start off with a good breakfast



Dr Robin Westacott at the business breakfast

Leading local and global companies and organisations participated in a business breakfast hosted by Heriot-Watt today.

The event was held to raise awareness about the Graduate Apprenticeships (GA) degree programmes on offer at Heriot-Watt and the benefits to individuals, companies and the Scotland-wide economy.

Almost 50 representatives attended from local employers such as HSBC, NHS, Babcock International, Deloitte, DYW West Lothian, Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, Knight Frank LLP, Skyscanner, Rentokil Initial and Midlothian Council. 

Dr Robin Westacott, Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering, is the lead for Heriot-Watt's GA programmes and sees them as an exciting opportunity for all the stakeholders involved:

The GA scheme gives employers the opportunity to access talented people earlier, or to up-skill existing employees – just two reasons why there was so much interest. In addition, the programmes don't cost employers anything extra and offer multiple benefits. Some of the companies we work with are proposing to use their GAs as change agents, simply because the apprentices see things from a different perspective to people who've been in the workplace for 20 years.”

With Graduate Apprenticeships, Heriot-Watt continues its tradition of a long heritage of working closely with business and industry.

Professor Garry Pender, Deputy Principal Research and Innovation

Skills Development Scotland, with support from the European Social Fund, has developed Graduate Apprenticeships, in partnership with industry and the further and higher education sectors, to provide work-based learning opportunities up to Master`s degree level.

During the business breakfast there was a chance to hear, first hand, about the opportunities and benefits for companies. As GAs are industry led and tailored to specific businesses, the benefits are already being experienced by employers whose staff members enrolled on the undergraduate degree programmes last year. Employers were able to talk to key academics and the business development team to discuss future cooperation, and hear an overview of the existing and new programmes for entry this year.

Professor Garry Pender, Deputy Principal for Research and Innovation, welcomed everyone to the inaugural Business Breakfast saying:

“With Graduate Apprenticeships, Heriot-Watt continues its tradition of a long heritage of working closely with business and industry. It is great to see so many employers who are ready to take advantage of the opportunities that cooperation with the University offers.”

The business breakfast is the first in a series of regular events to support the University's growing community of business partners and to engage with the local community.