Last week, we answered the question ‘What are Graduate Apprenticeships?’ This week, we will be giving you more information on the benefits of the Scottish professional development scheme.

In case you missed it, here is a reminder of what Graduate Apprenticeships are…

Graduate Apprenticeships (GA) at Edinburgh Napier University offer high quality work-based learning to strengthen the skills people and businesses need. Available to businesses of any size in Scotland, they provide a route for new and existing staff to get a fully funded university degree while in a paid job. There is no maximum age limit and learning costs are fully funded by Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS).

For more information, visit our website and get in touch to start growing your business.

The benefits of Graduate Apprenticeships

There is a whole range of benefits for employers and individuals that can be accessed through the Graduate Apprenticeship scheme, from attracting new talent to developing existing employees. While the easily accessible funding and generous flexibility in entry requirements allows businesses of any size an easy route into adopting the scheme.

Work-ready employees with practical experience

Graduate Apprentices from Forrit – Fiona Inglis

In Graduate Apprenticeships provide work-ready skills and behaviours by offering learners a holistic development experience in both study and work. Apprentices gain theoretical knowledge through taught modules at university, and the immediate exposure to the workplace advances their “soft skills”.  They quickly develop highly valued qualities such as problem solving, communication, organisation, creativity and leadership, making them more efficient and improving productivity. Soft skills development is also supported in academic study through completion of practical assignments, projects, group work and work-based learning. Fiona Inglis, a Graduate Apprentice with Forrit said: “I have been able to develop skills through university and work and my work has helped me consolidate those skills… The Graduate Apprenticeship scheme sets us apart because we are job-ready when we graduate.”

Flexible entry requirements

One of the key strengths of Graduate Apprenticeships is that it embraces learners of all ages, supporting lifelong learning and the appetite for retraining in older age groups. While some of Edinburgh Napier’s apprentices are recruited into a new role straight from school or college, others are mature students whose current employer is keen to support their upskilling.

Mentoring and guidance for apprentice and business

The strong emphasis on work-based learning, especially in latter stages of the degree, enables flexible learning approaches to best meet the needs and challenges of the apprentices. To help cope with the demands of work and study, apprentices are supported by a workplace mentor who aligns their studies with professional development in the workplace, and a mentor from the university who advises on all aspects of study.

Graduate Apprentices from Forrit – Alexandra Walker

Edinburgh Napier also works closely with workplace mentors to ensure apprentices are receiving the right experience to support their learning. Alex Walker, Business Operations Director with Forrit noted: “Edinburgh Napier have been fantastic; they have made everything so straightforward and simple. From helping us enrol our graduates, advising us on funding, and supporting our apprentices on their learning journey.”

A commitment to learning and development

By signing your business up to the Graduate Apprenticeship scheme, you are demonstrating your organisation’s commitment to learning and development which aids in your recruitment. Fiona explained: “I wanted to work for Forrit because of the Graduate Apprenticeship scheme. I was employed as a Graduate Apprentice and that to me proved that the company was willing to invest in its employees.” Alex echoed this statement by saying: “I think the Graduate Apprenticeship scheme helps to set our business apart from others because it demonstrates our commitment to learning and development and really helps us to attract and retain the best employees.”

For more information on partnership opportunities available with Edinburgh Napier University, visit our website to get in touch and start growing your business.