Graduate apprenticeship uptake triples

Number of participants in graduate apprenticeships has risen by 230 per cent in a single year, the latest figures show

The number of participants in Scottish graduate apprenticeships has grown by 230 per cent in its second year of delivery

The number of people doing graduate apprenticeships has tripled in a single year, Skills Development Scotland has said.

According to a SDS report, published today, there has been a 230 per cent increase in uptake of the scheme – which offers degree-level vocational learning opportunities – between 2017-18 and 2018-19.


Read more: Degree-level apprenticeship scheme to be expanded in Scotland

More news: Ucas to offer degree apprenticeships applications

Background: Degree apprenticeships: What you need to know


Degree apprenticeships on the rise

Graduate apprenticeships were launched in Scotland in 2017 with six frameworks, although that number doubled to 12 in their second year. According to SDS, there are now graduate apprenticeship employers in all Scottish local authorities.

There are currently 1199 registered apprentices working with 346 employers and 13 education institutions.

Almost half of businesses that were engaged in the first year of delivery have taken additional graduate apprenticeship places in 2018-19, the report found.

Women studying Stem

According to SDS, the growth in the number of apprenticeship starts on this scheme has met the targets set by the Scottish government, as part of SDS’ commitment to deliver 30,000 modern and graduate apprenticeship starts each year by 2020-21. 

The report also states that over the two years of delivery, there has been a growth in women doing graduate apprenticeships in science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) frameworks, with participation ahead of the average across all higher education. 

It goes on to say that graduate apprenticeships provide a progression opportunity for young people who completed foundation apprenticeships – apprenticeships for those still in school – and modern apprenticeships.

Growth in apprenticeships

Former Scottish Water modern apprentice Chris Gregg progressed on to a graduate apprenticeship in business management with his employer, delivered in partnership with Edinburgh Napier University. He said: “There is far more opportunity when completing a graduate apprenticeship to put your study into real context. During the short time I have been at university, I have completed modules in statistics and economics. These have already helped in my job, with a large part of my role focused on report writing.”

Jonathan Clark, director of service design and innovation at SDS, said: “Our ability to deliver graduate apprenticeships would be impossible without strong collaboration. Key influencers of individuals, including teachers, parents, carers and employers, play a crucial role in enabling us to scale our full apprenticeships offer.

“As we communicate the benefits of Scottish apprenticeships with individuals, parents and employers, our ambition over the next 10 years is to achieve significant growth with graduate apprenticeships. We are supported by the Scottish government in our ambition to achieve this, with at least 1,300 new graduate apprenticeship opportunities available in academic year 2019-20 – our third year of delivery.” 

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