What are Graduate Apprenticeships?

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 funded by Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for the full duration of the course, so there are no costs to your business or your apprentices.

How do they work?

Graduate Apprentices typically spend 20% of their time studying at university, and the remaining 80% applying their learning and progressing as professionals in the workplace. Tasks and projects apprentices carry out in work can also count towards their degree through work-based learning.

Graduate Apprentices from Forrit – Alexandra Walker

Alex Walker, Business Operations Director at software development company Forrit, says: “Our Graduate Apprentices spend one day a week at university in first and second year and, as they progress into third and fourth year, that becomes one day a month. For us, that time that they’re spending away from the company is more than offset by the contribution that they make to our business. Regardless of whether you’re an SME or a large enterprise, you are entitled to funding for these approved apprenticeship courses so I would really urge you to go and explore apprenticeship options.”

Why Edinburgh Napier University?

Edinburgh Napier University currently has over 430 students actively studying across 8 Graduate Apprenticeship programmes:

  • BEng (Hons) Cybersecurity
  • BSc (Hons) Data Science
  • BSc (Hons) IT Management for Business
  • BSc (Hons) Software Development
  • BA (Hons) Business Management
  • BEng (Hons) Civil Engineering
  • BSc (Hons) Construction & the Built Environment
  • BEng (Hons) Engineering: Design and Manufacture

Since our launch of GAs in 2017, we now partner with over 150 employers of varying sizes, from micro-SMEs of less than 5 people to multi-national organisations with more than 10,000 Scotland based employees. To support this demand, our Employer Liaison Managers work closely with employers and act as a ‘bridge’ between the employers and leading academics in each school. This unique structure allows us to provide subject matter expertise that is closely aligned to employer needs.

To provide continuous support for our employers, we offer regular reporting data on apprentices’ performance and attendance as well as updates to workplace mentors on module content, assessment dates and learning outcomes. This allows every workplace mentor, no matter their role or the size and structure of their organisation, to provide work related tasks relevant to their degree subject where possible, aiding in and combining apprentices’ academic and professional development.


What is the impact of participating in the Graduate Apprenticeship scheme?

The programmes delivered by Edinburgh Napier have already delivered demonstrable success both for the apprentices and their employers. Over 70% of our apprentices have been promoted within the first 2 years of their course, demonstrating the strong link between academic progression and professional development.

Graduate Apprentices from Forrit – Callum Lackie

Callum Lackie, a Graduate Apprentice at Forrit says: “There is a long list of potential benefits to studying a Graduate Apprenticeship. It makes way more practical sense to integrate the job and degree together than to do them one after the other.”

Alex Walker went on to say: “Our Graduate Apprentices bring lots of new ways of thinking into our business which really helps to strengthen the service that we are delivering. We also save time and money on recruitment costs, and we enjoy a very high retention rate amongst those who complete the scheme.”

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