“The best of both worlds”: Company director hails Graduate Apprenticeship programme

Monday, 24 February 2020

Graduate Apprenticeship opportunities at the University of Dundee offer “the best of both worlds” for staff and employers, the director of a Scottish software company has said.

Katherine Thomson, of Stirling-based KMSoft, says that her return to education is already benefitting both her career and her company.

Her support for the initiative comes as Skills Development Scotland (SDS) has agreed to fund 90 places at the University, marking the fourth consecutive year that the two organisations have worked together.

Graduate Apprenticeships are jobs that combine work-based learning and high quality education, allowing both students and employers to benefit. As well as allowing employers to develop the skills of an existing employee, Graduate Apprenticeships also allow new staff members to learn on the job, improving productivity, morale, retention and quality of service.

“It really is the best of both worlds,” said Katherine, who is in the second year of her Graduate Apprenticeship in IT: Management for Business.

“We work in a particularly niche sector, developing bespoke software for a plethora of industries, and already I have been able to use the knowledge that I am learning in my lectures in the workplace.”

Katherine’s experience has also highlighted how attractive Graduate Apprentices are as recruits. She added, “KMSoft will be looking to take on a Graduate Apprentice because we want somebody who has the knowledge and skills that we require, but who can also be developed within the workplace.

“I would encourage any employer to look at Graduate Apprenticeships for its staff because they represent an investment in them and your business.”

Applications are now open for courses beginning in September 2020, with subjects including Business Management, Civil Engineering, Engineering, Design and Manufacturing, IT: Management for Business, and IT: Software Development.

Wayne Paul, the University’s Industrial Liaison Officer, said, “As our Graduate Apprenticeships are fully funded, they provide a fantastic opportunity for companies of all sizes to develop their workforce at no cost to themselves. The application process has also been designed to be simple and easy, allowing companies to join the programme in a smooth and seamless way.”

Diane Greenlees, SDS Director of Critical Skills and Occupations, said, “More and more Scottish employers are turning to Graduate Apprenticeships to meet their critical skills needs.

“Graduate Apprenticeships are industry-led and delivered with universities across Scotland, ensuring businesses have access to high-level skills and providing both new and existing employees with the opportunities to get a job and get a degree.”

For further details of the Graduate Apprenticeship programme please email [email protected].