SDS creates more opportunities for work-based learning

Hundreds more people will have the opportunity to study for a degree as graduate apprenticeships are expanded

Hundreds of people will have the opportunity to study for degree-level courses while in employment thanks to Skills Development Scotland’s (SDS) significant expansion of graduate-level apprenticeships.
A total of 379 places will be made available for individuals to study for a degree, up to Masters level, while in work in 2017/18. This builds on the investment that delivered a successful pilot of 27 places in 2016/17.
SDS says it’s working with businesses, universities and colleges to deliver Graduate Level Apprenticeships. The programme aims to meet the needs of employers looking for high levels of academic and industry accreditation combined with experience in the workplace.
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 apprenticeships per year by 2020, complementing the 5,000 Foundation Apprenticeship places for school pupils.”
Director of the Centre for Work-based Learning David Coyne said: “Skills Development Scotland has developed Graduate Level Apprenticeships as a way for individuals to develop the necessary knowledge, skills and competence required by Scottish industries.
“Robert Gordon University is a great example of a university working with local employers.  Because they have been developed with employers, Graduate Level Apprenticeships ensure that learners gain the necessary knowledge and skills required for their chosen area of work.”
Robert Gordon University’s Principal, Professor Ferdinand von Prondzynski, said: “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 have 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.”