Edinburgh Napier University has doubled the number of places available for apprenticeship jobs which give people the chance to study for an honours degree while in full-time employment.
The university’s Graduate Apprenticeship portfolio is also expanding into two new areas – Data Science and Engineering: Design and Manufacture – in 2019/20.
Graduate Apprenticeships (GA), developed by Skills Development Scotland, with support from the European Social Fund, were created in order to tackle skills gaps in key areas of Scottish business.
Anyone over the age of 16 who lives in Scotland is eligible, and there are no course fees to pay for apprentices or employers.
Participants spend approximately 80 per cent of their time in work and 20 per cent in university, and can qualify for entry based on both academic and relevant work experience. Employers can either hire new recruits or upskill existing staff.
Edinburgh Napier’s first GA students began their journey to a degree across three courses in the School of Computing in September 2017. The programme expanded into the School of Engineering and Built Environment and the Business School the following year.
The third phase - beginning in September 2019 - will see the number of GA places, funded through Skills Development Scotland, more than double from 90 to 185. This includes the enhancement of the Construction and Built Environment framework with the addition of Architectural Technology to the existing Surveying portfolio.
The courses available are;
School of Computing BSc (Hons) IT: Management for Business (25 places), BSc (Hons) IT: Software Development (25), BEng (Hons) Cyber Security (25) and BSc (Hons) Data Science (15).
Business School BA (Hons) Business Management (25)
School of Engineering and the Built Environment BSc (Hons) Construction and the Built Environment (30), BEng (Hons) Civil Engineering (25) and BEng (Hons) Engineering: Design and Manufacture (15)
The new Data Science Graduate Apprenticeship will equip graduates with a solid knowledge of statistical techniques, data analysis, data engineering, machine learning and artificial intelligence. The Engineering: Design and Manufacture course (Electrical & Mechanical Engineering) encompasses engineering principles, enabling technologies, business management, interpersonal skills and project management.
Professor Sally Smith, Dean of Computing at Edinburgh Napier, said: “We’re delighted to get these extra places and have an opportunity to build on the successes of our apprentices to date. Our apprenticeships are highly competitive and appeal to school leavers and existing employees. With our apprentices putting their skills to use immediately, both they and their employers benefit from day one.”
Dr Kenneth Leitch, who leads the Graduate Apprentice programme in Civil Engineering, added: “I strongly believe that Graduate Apprenticeships will become a cornerstone of Higher Education in Scotland and this belief has been validated by our inaugural intake of students who took up apprenticeships with us last year.
“They have already proved themselves an asset to the University and contribute just as much as they learn to the class. We have had extremely positive feedback from our apprentices and employers, and as a result of this, and the overall benefits of the offer, we expect demand for places to be high this year.”
Graduate Apprenticeships were developed by Skills Development Scotland in partnership with employers, universities and colleges and professional bodies to create stronger links between education and industry.
Jonathan Clark, Director of Service Design and Innovation with Skills Development Scotland, said: “The success and growth of Graduate Apprenticeships demonstrates that they are supporting employers to upskill their workforce and giving individuals more opportunities to learn and develop their career whilst in employment.
“Universities and colleges across the country are widening their choice of Graduate Apprenticeships, and Skills Development Scotland will continue to develop subjects that focus on a range of sectors where there is a need for highly skilled jobs.”
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.
The picture shows Graduate Apprenticeship induction day at Craiglockhart last year.