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The University of Glasgow's School of Computing Science has signed up 34 Graduate Apprentices from 10 private and public-sector employers for its new Graduate Apprenticeship (GA) in IT: Software Development.

Graduate Apprenticeships are developed by Skills Development Scotland in partnership with industry, the higher and further education sectors and with support from the European Social Fund.

Responding to industry demand

Professor Quintin Cutts from the University of Glasgow is an internationally renowned expert in computing science education, and director of the University’s Centre for Computing Science Education. He worked in close consultation with 25 employers for more than a year to develop the university's GA degree programme.

Professor Cutts said: “Computing science and software engineering are vitally important skills which we believe should be viewed as professions on a par with medicine, veterinary science and dentistry. To that end, we’ve developed a brand-new Graduate Apprenticeship degree programme which draws inspiration from the way those subjects are taught, where students spend a great deal of time gaining practical experience in real workplace environments.

“We spent a lot of time asking employers what they needed from computing science students to address existing skills gaps and provide graduates who are ready to excel in the workplace.

“We’re confident that we’ve found a new way to do that, by giving students more time in the classroom in the first few months of their apprenticeship, which will help them find their feet more quickly once they transition to spending more time at work. They’ll have the benefit of learning with their employer, sharing their knowledge with the other graduate apprentices as they go, and studying with some world-class researchers here at the University.

“After two years of work and study, they’ll have the opportunity to specialise in three areas of software engineering and end up with a degree which is extremely well-tailored to the needs of their employer. We anticipate those apprentices to graduate with a level of skill around 18 months ahead of their contemporaries who have chosen to focus solely on academic study alone.”

Eclectic cohort

Drawn from a wide range of age and experience, from recent school-leavers to high-level athletes who have represented Scotland in football and karate competitions, the new Graduate Apprentices were officially welcomed to their new course at an event held at the University.

Kristina Pavlou is a newly-minted graduate apprentice, employed with tech firm VeryConnect, which was founded in 2013 by University of Glasgow graduate Kyle White.

Kristina, 19, said: “I’ve been interested in software engineering since I started playing games on my dad’s laptop years ago and started wondering how they were built – what happens behind the scenes when I click on something?

 

“I’m really excited to be starting my graduate apprenticeship. I chose to come to the University and work for VeryConnect because the Graduate Apprenticeship degree programme offered so much flexibility in what I could choose to learn.

“VeryConnect are a small team which feels like a family, so I feel like I’ve had a lot of opportunities to contribute to the company already, and it’s been great to meet the other apprentices. I’ve only just finished my A-levels but some of the others are older and have had other careers, so it’s a varied group and I think we’re going to learn a lot from each other on the course.”

Securing talent early

Multinational investment bank and financial services company, Barclays are giving their backing to the Graduate Apprenticeship, signing up 17 apprentices.

Scott Stewart, Head of Barclays Scotland, said: “Barclays is delighted to be partnering with Glasgow University for our 2019 cohort of Technology Graduate Apprentices. This helps us secure Early Careers talent locally as we invest in Glasgow as a strategic site for Barclays.”

Skills Development Scotland, Director of Service Design and Innovation, Jonathan Clark, said: “The success and growth of Graduate Apprenticeships demonstrates that they are supporting employers to upskill their workforce and giving individuals more opportunities to learn and develop their career whilst in employment.

 

“Universities and colleges across the country are widening their choice of Graduate Apprenticeships and Skills Development Scotland will continue to develop subjects that focus on a range of sectors where there is a need for highly skilled jobs.”

The employers who have signed up to the Graduate Apprenticeship degree programme also include Student Loan Company, Leidos, TBR Global and Autorek.

More information

To find out about Graduate Apprenticeships visit apprenticeships.scot

For more information on the University of Glasgow’s Graduate Apprenticeship degree programme, visit the undergraduate section of the computing school area of the University website here 

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