Heriot-Watt University is among the largest providers of Graduate Apprenticeships (GA) in Scotland for a third-year running.
A total of 205 fully funded places have just been awarded to the university for the next academic year by Skills Development Scotland (SDS), to help meet the needs of local and national employers, marking a significant rise on last year's intake of 155.
The announcement was confirmed today (Monday 4 March) at the start of Scottish Apprenticeship Week, which celebrates the achievements of individual apprentices and everyone who contributes to their success.
Our GA programmes allow us to work towards this ambition by producing a dynamic, innovative and skilled workforce ready to face the challenges found in modern businesses.
Welcoming the news is Dr Robin Westacott, Director of Apprenticeships at Heriot-Watt University, who said: “Graduate Apprenticeships offer employers the chance to upskill their workforce or bring new talented school leavers into the organisation. Today's announcement underlines the undeniable value Graduate Apprenticeships continue to offer in this regard and reflects the ambition and quality of provision of the university.
“Since the introduction of Graduate Apprenticeships in 2017, Heriot-Watt has been amongst the largest providers of this pioneering programme and we have seen a large rise in the level of interest from both industry and employees.
“This university has a proud history of working closely with industry and these relationships are being bolstered through our offering of Graduate Apprenticeships.”
The Graduate Apprenticeship programme is aimed at anyone over the age of 16 who live and work in Scotland, with no course fees to pay for apprentices or employers. Graduate Apprentices spend approximately 80% of their time in work and 20% in university, and can qualify for entry based on both academic and relevant work experience. This enables employers to upskill their work force in order to meet the growing demands of modern business environment, gaining new qualifications whilst remaining in paid employment.
Dr Gill Murray, Deputy Principal Enterprise and Business at Heriot-Watt, said: “As we move into an era of technological change and globalisation, we are seeing a greater need for skilled workers not just here in Scotland but across the world.
“Our GA programmes allow us to work towards this ambition by producing a dynamic, innovative and skilled workforce ready to face the challenges found in modern businesses.”
Employers who have signed up early to Graduate Apprenticeships are already reaping the benefits from the programme in their workplace, with closer partnership working between employers, employees and Heriot-Watt University across a range of key areas.
Last year, the accolades of 'Best Apprentice in Scotland' and the 'Apprentice Ambassador of the Year' went to two Heriot-Watt GA students who work for the construction firms, GRAHAM and Jacobs UK.
And there is no sign of the programme slowing with the Scottish Government reaffirming its commitment to the expansion of work-based learning opportunities through Foundation, Modern and Graduate Apprenticeships.
Employers keen to find out more about Graduate Apprenticeships and what it can offer them can do so by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 0131 451 8369.
Alternatively, further information can be found here.
The full list of Graduate Apprenticeship courses on offer at Heriot-Watt are: