University welcomes record number of Graduate Apprentices

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

Employers continue to recognise the importance of upskilling their staff at the University of Dundee, despite the economic uncertainty prompted by coronavirus.

The University has reported its largest ever intake of Graduate Apprentices, despite many companies having to furlough or make staff redundant because of the pandemic.

Graduate Apprenticeships 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.

Places are funded by Skills Development Scotland (SDS) with the University working in partnership with employers to provide qualifications in subjects covering Business, Civil and Manufacturing Engineering, IT, and Software.

Wayne Paul, the University’s Industrial Liaison Officer, said, “At the start of the pandemic we spent time analysing the needs of various businesses and the challenges they faced because of Covid-19.

“What became clear was the need for employers to maximise the potential of their workforce and our Graduate Apprenticeship programme has been a perfect fit for many. This year we have 63 Graduate Apprentices – an increase of almost a quarter from last year - from a total of 47 different employers, small and large.

“Not only is it fantastic to see such a spread of businesses being able to utilise the funding during such a difficult time, but that so many new businesses are now experiencing the benefits of our programme.”

The University first teamed up with SDS in 2017 and currently offers places in five courses:

  •     Business Management BSc (Hons)
  •     Civil Engineering BEng (Hons)
  •     Engineering, Design and Manufacturing BEng (Hons)
  •     IT Management for Business BSc (Hons)
  •     IT Software Development BSc (Hons)

Businesses can either recommend an existing employee to undertake a Graduate Apprenticeship or hire a new member of staff. Current employees could be professionals who have no formal education and are keen to progress, or non-technical employees moving into business, IT, software development, or engineering.

“It is hugely encouraging to see that employers continue to value the development of their staff,” continued Wayne.

“We often say that Graduate Apprenticeships are a win-win for both parties, allowing individuals to fulfil their academic potential while utilising their new-found skills in their workplace.

“By working with local employers to provide work-based learning and high quality education, the University is also continuing to demonstrate its commitment to the local economy.”

Further details about the University’s Graduate Apprenticeship programme can be found online.