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Graduate Apprenticeships are providing the critical skills that will be vital to Scotland's economic recovery from COVID-19.

The latest annual progress report on Graduate Apprenticeships shows they continue to support the skills needs of employers and learners.

The report highlights their continued growth, demand from employers and the importance of their role in the recovery from COVID-19.

Backed by employers and supporting individuals

The number of businesses employing Graduate Apprentices has more than trebled in the past three years, while four times as many individuals have started a Graduate Apprenticeship.

The last financial year saw 1,160 apprentices working with 506 employers and 15 higher education institutions across 13 Graduate Apprenticeship frameworks.

Graduate Apprenticeships are also making higher education more accessible for individuals, with an increased number of BAME participants and people who have a disability.

“Graduate Apprenticeships are training and up-skilling workers in key occupational growth areas. They are providing a critical pipeline of talent that will support our recovery and growth of Scotland’s economy as we work to rebuild from coronavirus."

Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills, Jamie Hepburn MSP

Apprenticeships at the heart of recovery

In response to the report, Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills Jamie Hepburn said: “Apprenticeships are not only valuable for those undertaking them, they are a key way for all employers to invest in their workforce, and provide the skills the economy needs both now and in the future. Graduate Apprenticeships offer a unique learning opportunity, providing a blend of academic and work-based learning for employees, enabling them to up-skill or re-skill while in paid employment.

“Graduate Apprenticeships are training and up-skilling workers in key occupational growth areas. They are providing a critical pipeline of talent that will support our recovery and growth of Scotland’s economy as we work to rebuild from coronavirus (COVID-19).

“Our national mission is to create new jobs, good jobs and green jobs - with a particular focus on young people, supporting retraining and investing in a Green New Deal to tackle climate change. To support this, £60 million has been committed to the Scottish Young Person’s Guarantee which will ensure everyone aged between 16 and 24 has the opportunity of work, education or training. We also announced that £10 million will be dedicated to supporting Scotland’s Apprenticeships. This targeted funding will include helping Modern and Graduate Apprentices who are facing redundancy get back into work, including additional funding for Scotland’s Adopt an Apprentice programme. This package of measures will ensure no one is left behind.”

Developing future talent

More employers than ever are now using Graduate Apprenticeships to realise business benefits such as addressing critical skills gaps, driving innovation and increasing productivity and retention.

HR Director at Dawnfresh Seafoods and member of the Scottish Apprenticeship Advisory Board, Helen Muir, said: “Graduate Apprenticeships are a strategic way to develop our future leaders and gain skills that are vital to the success of our business.

“By gaining commercial awareness alongside academic qualifications, our Graduate Apprentices have made a valuable, quantifiable difference to the organisation.

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the food and drink industry has proven that its people are resilient, innovative and committed to delivering great products. We in turn are committed to providing sustainable development opportunities for our employees – including through continued support for Graduate Apprenticeships and the tremendous value they bring.”

Scottish Apprenticeships and work-based learning have never been more vital than during this period of recovery and renewal.

Chair of Skills Development Scotland, Frank Mitchell

Responding to industry

Chair of Skills Development Scotland (SDS), Frank Mitchell, said: “Scottish Apprenticeships and work-based learning have never been more vital than during this period of recovery and renewal.

“More than 2,000 people have now accessed industry-relevant degrees through Graduate Apprenticeships, bringing fresh talent and critical skills to hundreds of employers across every local authority area in Scotland.

“SDS will continue to work with the Scottish Apprenticeship Advisory Board and our industry partners to drive the development of Graduate Apprenticeships and ensure they remain available in the critical occupational growth areas of the Scottish economy.”

Graduate Apprenticeships provide work-based learning opportunities up to Master’s degree level and have been developed by Skills Development Scotland, in partnership with industry and the higher education sectors, with support from the European Social Fund.

They provide businesses with access to high-level skills and offer a new route for people to gain degree-level, industry recognised qualifications backed by leading universities across Scotland.

 

More information

Read the latest Graduate Apprenticeship progress report by searching on the publications area of the SDS website.

To find out more about Graduate Apprenticeships and how they can support your business, visit apprenticeships.scot.

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