Graduate Apprenticeships – Delivering for employees, employers & our economy

Graduate Apprenticeships – Delivering for employees, employers & our economy

Civil Engineering undergraduates helping to repair the Bo”Ness and Kinneil railway line.
The students are working alongside the railway civil engineering team under the guidance of lecturer Mark Taylor.
Female engineering student with railway engineer.

CECA Scotland strongly supports Graduate Apprenticeships and we’re working in partnership with colleges and universities to support their development and promotion right across Scotland.

And that’s because all the evidence suggests that investment in apprenticeships is crucial not just in addressing Scotland’s skills gap but in driving our future economic growth.

Graduate apprenticeships have a vital role to play in supporting Scotland’s employers to develop the skills of their workforce, by providing work-based learning opportunities up to Master’s level for their employees.

Attracting, securing and training a diverse world class workforce is a key priority of the CECA Scotland Board and graduate apprenticeships are absolutely central to achieving our objectives, ensuring a strong, secure and diverse future skills pipeline for Scotland’s civil engineering sector.

We are grateful to Dr Kenneth Leitch of Edinburgh Napier University for taking the time to write a short blog on Graduate Apprenticeships and the benefits they bring to students, employers and the Scottish economy. Dr Leitch is programme lead for the new Graduate Apprenticeship BEng in Civil Engineering for the University.

Graduate Apprenticeships, introduced by Skills Development Scotland in 2017, are changing the way organisations can recruit and retrain Civil Engineers, benefiting and strengthening the Scottish workforce. Graduate Apprenticeships are now available in 11 subjects in 2018 and allow participants to study to honours level whilst remaining in full-time employment.

Civil Engineering is a wide-ranging discipline encompassing a range of specialisms, each with their own related knowledge and skills. Traditional Undergraduate programmes look to create employable graduates with a good understanding of common principles and practices.

This approach is valuable; however, employers can find that a period of bedding in to an organisation is required with recent graduates and that time and resources need to be allocated to ensure familiarity with working procedures and to meet required levels of competency.

Our Graduate Apprenticeship programme in Civil Engineering is structured in such as a way as to ensure that academic skills either (in the case of an existing employee) build upon existing knowledge of such procedures or (in the case of a newly appointed employee) are developed in parallel to them. This provides a streamlined approach which can be used to upskill existing employees or produce truly work ready graduates into employment earlier than their contemporaries undertaking a full-time study route.

We have an experienced team here at Edinburgh Napier who are proactively involved in the recruitment to and development of our Graduate Apprenticeship programme. We believe that Graduate Apprenticeships will form a significant part of the future landscape of Higher Education and are motivated by our links with industry to deliver a Work Based Learning programme of value to the construction sector and to the Scottish Economy.”

Key Facts about Graduate Apprenticeships

– All programme fees are fully funded for the duration of the programme
– Roughly 80% work based learning vs 20% university learning
– Work based learning counts towards modules and final qualification
– No upper age limit
– Open to new recruits and existing employees
– Designed by industry for industry
– Study to honours level with flexible entry and exit points

In 2018, there will be 11 programmes available at 12 Scottish universities and colleges right across Scotland. For a full list of those participating click here.

For more information on Graduate Apprenticeships in Civil Engineering or Construction and The Built Environment at Edinburgh Napier University, please contact:
Rhona Smith, Employer Liaison and Student Recruitment Manager, 0131 455 2242 or email here.

Refurbished rooms at Merchiston

Merchiston exterior