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Two of Scotland’s leading universities are the latest to back Graduate Apprenticeships.

The University of Edinburgh and the University of St Andrews will work with global accounting and business services firm PwC to offer a BSc in Data Science – the first course of its kind in Scotland.

The universities and the employer have worked with Skills Development Scotland (SDS) and Scottish Government to develop the Graduate Apprenticeship, with an initial 20 places and plans to expand to 80 places over four years.

Graduate Apprenticeships offer the opportunity to blend academic learning with practical experience, leading to excellent career prospects and a salary from day one.

Fourth industrial revolution

SDS Chief Executive Damien Yeates, said: “The unprecedented change driven by advances in technology and demographic shifts, or the fourth industrial revolution, has the potential to reshape every aspect of society – particularly, the economy, work and skills.

“This ground breaking Graduate Apprenticeship shows that Scotland is at the vanguard of creating and delivering the educational experiences to seize the opportunities created by these changes.

“I am delighted that PwC and Edinburgh and St Andrews are joining 12 other Scottish universities in expanding the reach of the Graduate Apprenticeships.”

“This ground breaking Graduate Apprenticeship shows that Scotland is at the vanguard of creating and delivering the educational experiences to seize the opportunities created by these changes."

Damien Yeates

David Brown, PwC’s Government leader in Scotland and co-chair of the National Centre for Universities and Business, said: “Technology is changing the world. Over two thirds of UK CEOs say they’re having difficulty recruiting people with digital skills, a quarter of UK manufacturing businesses see skills shortages as inhibiting output, while a third of financial services undertakings are constrained by a lack of professional staff.

“The data science Graduate Apprenticeship is an example of how new approaches to education can help address this demand by combining world-class teaching and facilities at St Andrews and Edinburgh Universities with work-based learning at PwC.”

Work-based learning

This year 12 different types of Graduate Apprenticeship will be offered by 14 universities and colleges across Scotland. More employers, universities and colleges are expected to get involved across all Graduate Apprenticeship frameworks as part of an expanded programme for 2019.

Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science Shirley-Anne Somerville said:

“We are committed to developing a diverse array of educational pathways so that everyone can fulfil their potential.

“Work-based learning, through the ever-growing range of apprenticeships available in Scotland, has a core role to play in delivering that ambition.

“The data science Graduate Apprenticeship is a direct response to industry need, bringing the skills system, leading universities and employers closer together, helping create the skills and capabilities required to power the Scottish labour market of the future.”

Find out more about the skills model needed to drive Scotland's future at Skills 4.0.

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