Two IT engineers from Sparrows Group are to be among the first to take part in a new Graduate Level Apprenticeships (GLAs) at Robert Gordon University (RGU) in Aberdeen.
Minister for Employability and Training, Jamie Hepburn, visited RGU to confirm an expansion of the scheme and met with Andrew Aitken and Glen Wright, both desktop engineers, to talk about their participation in the programme.
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.
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.”
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.”