Robert Gordon University (RGU) today hosted a visit by Minister for Employability and Training, Jamie Hepburn, who announced significant expansion of Graduate Level Apprenticeships (GLAs).
GLAs have been developed by Skills Development Scotland (SDS) in partnership with employers, universities and colleges and professional bodies to provide new Work-Based Learning degree offerings, and create stronger links between industry and education and increase graduate employability skills.
RGU was the first university in Scotland to confirm the structure and content of the new work-based learning degrees back in March.
A total of 379 places will be made available for individuals to study for a degree course, up to Masters level, while in work in 2017/18. This follows a successful pilot of 27 places last year.
Minister for Employability and Training Jamie Hepburn said: “We carried out a consultation with employers, which identified a need for skills that better support businesses and help them grow.
“As a result we have committed to expanding the number of Graduate Level Apprenticeships, broadening access to higher education and increasing adult participation, as well as developing the capabilities and skill sets of organisations and individuals.
“By creating the opportunity to combine an academic degree with the challenges of the workplace, we are better preparing individuals for the job market and ensuring we match the right skills and training to available employment.
“These new opportunities will support our wider modern apprenticeship offering, including the commitment to 30,000 MAs per year by 2020, complementing the 5,000 Foundation Apprenticeship places for school pupils.”
RGU’s Principal, Professor Ferdinand von Prondzynski, added: “Having been the first university in Scotland to confirm the structure and content of the Graduate Level Apprenticeships (GLAs) back in March, we welcome the news that the scheme has been expanded and will give access to more young apprentices. This is also fully in keeping with our membership of the Centre for Work-Based Learning.
“GLAs represent an innovation across teaching and learning that will help young people into skilled employment and support the Scottish economy. We are proud to play a role in this pioneering scheme with our industry partners and the Skills Development Scotland team.”
One of the first organisations to sign up to the GLAs was Aberdeen-based Sparrows Group, whose apprentices Andrew Aitken and Glen Wright were at RGU to meet with Jamie Hepburn.
Ewen Kerr, executive director engineering and operations at Sparrows, commented: “We have a long history of providing opportunities to people beginning their careers in the energy industry as graduates and apprentices. This has been integral to our success as a company and the Graduate Level Apprenticeship builds on that tradition.
“We’re very proud that Andrew and Glen will be part of the first GLA programme and we see huge benefits for them and the organisation in combining a degree level education with practical work experience.”
by Rob Smith
Communications Officer | Design and Technology
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