From education to employment

More organisations sign up for Scotland’s pioneering work-based learning degrees


NHS Grampian and EnerMech have become the latest organisations to sign up to Robert Gordon University’s (RGU) pioneering Graduate Level Apprenticeships (GLAs).

The work-based learning degrees, the first available in Scotland, were set up with funding support from Skills Development Scotland (SDS) to address the national digital skills shortage. RGU’s School of Computing Science and Digital Media is running two GLAs, a BSc (Hons) IT Management for Business and a BSc (Hons) Software Development for Business.

NHS Grampian has signed up for four places and EnerMech for one place on the IT Management for Business course which begins next month. They join a number of other businesses and organisations, including local authorities, which have already signed up for the programme.  Employers interested in this opportunity should contact RGU urgently to secure one of the few remaining places by end of August.

GLAs enable participants to earn a degree while working and they are delivered in partnership with employers over the course of four years. Much of the learning takes place in the workplace with active involvement from the employers who sign a Collaboration Agreement with RGU to define how each partner will support the apprentice during the course.

Professor John Harper, Deputy Principal at RGU, said: “We are delighted that NHS Grampian and EnerMech have come on board in support of the GLA initiative which represents a major milestone for the university and for work-based learning opportunities in Scotland.

“GLAs represent an innovation across teaching and learning, built around a structure which formally recognises the value of time in the workplace as part of a learning environment.”

Developed by SDS in partnership with business, industry, professional bodies and educational institutions, the GLAs are designed to give employers the opportunity to participate in developing the employee skills that they see as crucial to their business whilst also creating stronger links between industry and education.

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Shirley Smith, HR Director at EnerMech said: “We see the introduction of the graduate apprenticeship scheme as a great way to improve the skills base of our existing personnel. It also gives us the opportunity to hire people straight from school and have them working in the business learning all aspects while studying to achieve a degree.

“We currently employ engineers who have varying levels of qualifications and experience. Having access to this gives us the ability to develop our people and retain greater skills in the business for the future.”

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Douglas Andrew, Learning & Development Manager, NHS Grampian said: “This is a fantastic opportunity which is now available to employees to be able to continue their personal development at an academic level whilst continuing to work in their workplace.”

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