Graduate apprenticeships tackle digital skills shortage

Professor Chrisina Jayne, head of the School of Computing Science and Digital Media

Graduate apprenticeships tackle digital skills shortage

Robert Gordon University (RGU) has been awarded £1million to address the national digital skills shortage.

RGU’s School of Computing Science and Digital Media will use the funding, from Skills Development Scotland (SDS), to establish two-degree level work-based learning programmes which will upskill employees to meet the urgent national demand for digital technology graduates.

The university is offering 30 fully-funded places across the degree programmes and is currently seeking employers interested in taking advantage of the opportunity, which is set to begin in May.

The two Graduate Level Apprenticeships in Software Development for Business and Information Technology Management for Business will enable participants to earn their degree while working.

In partnership with employers, RGU will match learning outcomes with specific skills requirements and practical experience, linking with workplace projects and supported through RGU’s virtual learning environment.

Professor Chrisina Jayne, Head of the School of Computing Science and Digital Media, says: “The ICT and digital technologies sector is playing an increasingly important part of the Scottish economy but with 70% of companies requiring employees with digital skills there is an immediate demand to support business growth

”Our Graduate Level Apprenticeship programmes are designed to address the national digital skills shortage by providing employers with opportunities to shape their workforce in line with their business demands and reduce recruitment costs in a difficult skills area, while attracting new talent to the sector.”

Graduate Level Apprenticeships have been developed by SDS in partnership with employers, universities and colleges and professional bodies to create stronger links between industry and education and increase graduate employability skills.

Jonathan Clark, Director of Service Design and Innovation at Skills Development Scotland said: “Graduate Level Apprenticeships have the potential to transform the way that young people access further and higher education.

“Graduate Apprentices will be employed during their studies and because much of the learning takes place in the workplace they will have the opportunity to immediately apply what they learn at college or university in their jobs – and vice versa.

“This provides opportunities for employers to help shape the skills of their employees and to address skills shortages affecting their industry and the local economy.

“SDS is delighted to be working with Robert Gordon University to deliver two Graduate Level Apprenticeships in IT and we look forward to working together to develop the skills employers need.”