Graduate Apprenticeship provides a First for Robyn – and her employer
Robyn Urcia has become the first employee to complete a Graduate Apprenticeship at power company Mersen, topping it off with a First in her degree.
Her success has even inspired Mersen to invest in four more Graduate Apprentices.
Robyn, from Glasgow, earned a First Class degree in Engineering: Design and Manufacture from the University of Strathclyde as part of her Graduate Apprenticeship with the firm.
Robyn said: “The last two years have been challenging for everyone, but it was all worth it to attend my in-person graduation ceremony in November and see so many classmates again to celebrate.”
A Graduate Apprenticeship was the perfect opportunity for me as I could advance my career and earn a qualification at the same time.
Graduate Apprenticeships allows anyone over the age of 16 to gain employment and work towards a qualification up to Master’s degree level. Apprentices put learning into practice right away, solving problems on real world projects for businesses across Scotland.
A Graduate Apprenticeship was just what Robyn was looking for. Introduced in 2016, Robyn was one of the first in Scotland to take one.
Robyn said: “A Graduate Apprenticeship was the perfect opportunity for me as I could advance my career and earn a qualification at the same time.
“I am really glad my employer identified this next step in my professional development, and they supported me right from the start.”
Mersen also saw the benefits of offering a Graduate Apprenticeship.
Operations Manager Steven Lang said: “A Graduate Apprenticeship is a great midway point between academic and industry experience. Employee development goes hand-in-hand with learning.”
Balancing work and academics can be difficult, but Robyn found a supportive environment at Mersen that gave her independence, too.
She said: “I was managing shift work and uni work, but the flexibility of the course meant I was able to manage. It was up to us to manage our own schedule – scheduling is really important.
“My work-based project also benefitted the company. They were able to make improvements on site based on my recommendations and it was so satisfying to see that.”
We were so impressed by Robyn’s Graduate Apprenticeship that we have recruited Apprentices in Computer Coding, Design, Engineering and Business Management. We can’t wait to see what they achieve.
Operations Manager, Mersen
Mersen have also been very pleased with Robyn’s work. Steven said: “It was a proud moment watching Robyn graduate. She worked incredibly hard and deserves her First Class degree. We were all pleased for her.”
Now, four more Graduate Apprentices hope to follow in Robyn’s footsteps at Mersen.
Steven added: “We were so impressed by Robyn’s Graduate Apprenticeship that we have recruited Apprentices in Computer Coding, Design, Engineering and Business Management. We can’t wait to see what they achieve.”
Apprenticeships play an important role in workforce development according to Steven.
He said: “Our Graduate Apprenticeships develop degree-qualified graduates with real-world work experience. This means they can hit the ground running as soon as they have their degree – if not before. It’s an unbeatable combination for both them and us.”