Employers and academics to design apprenticeship courses

Employers, academics and students will come together at the University of Dundee this week to explore a new initiative aiming to address key skills shortage in industry.

The Graduate Apprenticeships programme has been launched by Skills Development Scotland (SDS) in partnership with universities, including Dundee. Representatives of SDS and the University will address employers on the programme’s benefits at the Queen Mother Building on Friday, 17th February.

The University will work in partnership with businesses to offer up to 70 Graduate Apprenticeships in four areas: IT Management for Business; IT Software Development; Engineering, Design & Manufacturing; and Civil Engineering. Graduate Apprentices will be employed by organisations working in each of these sectors, allowing them to combine academic learning at a world-class university with practical learning in the workplace.

The purpose of Friday’s event is to bring employers together with academics and students in the design of the degree curriculum to ensure that it is industry focused. Businesses will also have the chance to find out more about the aims of the programme and register their interest in employing Graduate Apprentices.

“The four subject areas we will be offering Graduate Apprenticeships in are central to Scotland’s future economic development but there are also skills shortages in them and this initiative seeks to address this,” said Dr Karen Petrie, who is leading the programme for the University.

“This kind of work-based learning offers great opportunities for people to develop the skills that our industrial partners are looking for, and strengthens the links between the University and business. Our courses will be delivered with major local businesses and are focused on benefitting people from the local area.

“This is a project which offers wider access to higher education for people who may not otherwise have felt able to attend as they are already working full-time, while businesses may also see it as an attractive option for developing new staff.

“We are sure that the businesses visiting us will be impressed by the ambitions of the apprenticeship programme and we look forward to developing the course content with them to ensure it meets the needs of industry. We are excited to be offering this project on such a large scale and if businesses haven’t already spoken to us and are interested in getting involved we would be happy to hear from them.”

Graduate Apprenticeships have been developed by SDS 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 at Skills Development Scotland said, “Graduate Apprenticeships have the potential to transform the way that young people access further and higher education.

“Graduate Apprentices will be employed during their studies and because much of the learning takes place in the workplace they will have the opportunity to immediately apply what they learn at college or university in their jobs – and vice versa.

“This provides opportunities for employers to help shape the skills of their employees and to address skills shortages affecting their industry and the local economy. SDS is delighted to be working with the University of Dundee to deliver all four Graduate Apprenticeships and we look forward to working together to develop the skills employers need.”

Find out more at https://www.dundee.ac.uk/industry/graduateapprenticeships/.

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Grant Hill
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University of Dundee
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Email: g.hill@dundee.ac.uk